THE FILM SCRIPTS – 3. YOU MURDERING BARRISTERS!

YOU MURDERING BARRISTERS!

This Edition Copyright © 2011 by James Sapsard

First published in Great Britain in 2013
by James Sapsard

The right of James Sapsard to be identified as the Author of this Work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher and the copyright owner, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

James Sapsard
London

YOU MURDERING BARRISTERS!

Cast List

Lockwood
Seated Man
Johnny Hughes
Mrs. Jones
Jenny Hughes
Sarah Campbell
Priest
Freddie Johnson
The Man
Miss March
Charles Flame
Lawrence Antaeus
Vicky Flame
Heather
Detective Sergeant Richards
P.C. Peters
Detective Sergeant Wilson
Deputy Superintendent Sternforth
Worth
Magistrates’ Court Clerk
Prosecutor
Chairman
Kenneth
Warder
Portman
Judge
Guerlain
Jury Foreman
Court Clerk
Check In Girl

Non-Speaking

Old Lady In Shop
Taxi Driver
Hotel Porter Sam
Police Officers
Police Inspector
Magistrates
Dock Officer
Shop Assistant
Jury
CPS Lawyer
Sir Geoffrey

Voices

Radio
Television Newscaster

FADE IN:

INT. LOCKWOOD’S STUDY – DAY

The late 2000’s.

RICHARD LOCKWOOD, sherry glass in hand, is standing facing a seated man whose face is out of view.

The walls are covered in campaign and other military memorabilia.

LOCKWOOD
I’m in a spot of bother, old boy.

SEATED MAN
(sipping his drink)
So what’s new?

LOCKWOOD
They humour me.

He takes out his gun from a shoulder holster and passes it from one hand to the other.

Power changes hands.

He looks along the barrel.

I’m expendable.

SEATED MAN
We put the whole damn department together.

LOCKWOOD
So what? I’d be out in three months anyway but they’ve got plans for me. In one fell swoop, no pension, no O.B.E., no embarrassing memoirs. At least, that’s how they see it.

SEATED MAN
Then go now. The States, Canada.

LOCKWOOD
It’s not my style to cut and run. I’ll fight them. I’ve always fought corruption.

SEATED MAN
I’m with you, but how?

LOCKWOOD
They’ve set up my last run to be my last run. But I’m a step ahead.

Close up on a miniature microphone concealed under the table between them.

SEATED MAN
Richard, I wouldn’t be alive if you hadn’t pulled me out of …

LOCKWOOD
(cutting in)
No debts, old boy. No favours. No orders. I’m asking and it’s yes or no. Whichever, I’m grateful you came.

SEATED MAN
I’ll follow your orders to the letter, sir.

Lockwood allows himself to smile.

LOCKWOOD
On the thirteenth of March I’ll book out of a two star hotel, the Vista, with a cover. They won’t hit me while she’s there. Then the Heathrow Sheraton. She won’t be with me. It’ll go down as I book out. I’m gone and they recover the shipment.

He pauses and reflects.

I want you to hit me as I book in. Then you wait to hear from me. It’ll give me twenty-four hours on them.

SEATED MAN
What about …

LOCKWOOD
(cutting in)
Don’t involve her.

SEATED MAN
You don’t make it easy.

Rising, his face still out of view.

I’ll set up deep cover.

LOCKWOOD
Bloody deep, old boy, Bloody deep, or we’re both dead.

EXT. A SUBURBAN STREET – DAY

JOHNNY HUGHES, a dishevelled, raincoated man, is walking along with his head down and his hands in his pockets.

As he looks up into the wind he is a tall, handsome man with almost black hair and brown eyes.

The day is dismal. Johnny walks through various streets in an impoverished area and enters the garden of a large, Victorian house. He walks up the garden path and opens the front door with his key.

INT. JOHNNY’S HALLWAY – DAY

Johnny enters and closes the door quietly behind him. The hallway is shabby, the wallpaper thirty years old and faded. He starts to walk upstairs very softly, almost silently.

A door along the hallway opens and MRS. JONES pokes her head around the door.

MRS. JONES
Oh, it’s only you, Mr. Hughes. Everything alright, dear?

JOHNNY
Everything’s fine, Mrs. Jones.

Johnny goes upstairs and with the same key he lets himself into his room.

INT. JOHNNY’S BEDSIT – DAY

A large, shabby and untidy room. Two suitcases lie on the floor. A large table is strewn with dirty crockery, books and personal belongings.

Johnny switches on an old clock radio by the bed.

The radio is playing a London talk show slightly off station or poor reception.

Johnny sits on the bed. He picks up and gazes at a photograph of himself with his wife, JENNY and his two sons of about eight and ten.

JOHNNY
(sighing)
Oh, God!

He holds the photograph to his lips, puts it on the bed, stands up and paces the room.

His eyes are watering.

He picks up the photograph. Close up on Jenny’s face as he runs his finger around the outline.

INT. JENNY’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Jenny is standing gazing through the window and is distressed. She slowly turns to Johnny’s mother, SARAH CAMPBELL, a striking looking woman, who is seated.

SARAH
Have you …

JENNY
(cutting in)
I’m not going to the police.

She breaks down tearfully.

I’m sorry. If I could just know he’s alright.

She turns back to the window and Sarah joins her. They gaze out.

I hope he won’t do anything foolish. He hasn’t touched his redundancy money.

SARAH
Not Johnny.

She puts her arm around Jenny’s shoulder and they both gaze ahead of them. Jenny’s face is comforted. Sarah looks concerned.

JENNY
I love him.

INT. JOHNNY’S BEDSIT – DAY

Johnny is making something on toast. His face is expressionless. We hear the news from a portable TV.

NEWSCASTER
Home Office figures published today show that levels of opportunist crime rose steadily in the six months to the end of last year. A police spokesman said that the very nature of these crimes means that the majority go unsolved. An opposition spokesman said that the trend is symptomatic of the government’s failure to deal with the effects of high-level long-term unemployment.

Johnny turns off the TV. He sits back on the bed, kicks off his shoes and puts his feet up.

He gazes into space.

It is getting dark outside. His meal remains uneaten.

INT. JOHNNY’S BEDSIT – NIGHT

Johnny is still sitting motionless on the bed after it has become dark.

EXT. OUTSIDE A SMALL SHOP – DAY

Johnny is standing on the pavement outside a small newsagent’s shop. He counts the money in his pocket, looks frustrated and goes into the shop.

INT. A SMALL SHOP – DAY

There are newspapers on the counter. Johnny joins a queue of two or three customers and stands behind an OLD LADY.

Johnny sees her purse exposed on top of her basket. He puts his hand tentatively towards the purse but then withdraws it and leaves the shop.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE SHOP – DAY

Johnny stands looking uneasy. The old lady leaves the shop and smiles at him. Her purse is still lying on top of her bag as she walks away.

Johnny takes a Sunday paper from the rack outside the shop and looks around furtively.

He goes back into the shop with the paper.

INT. JOHNNY’S BEDSIT – DAY

The TV is on but the volume is turned down.

The newspaper lies unopened on the worktop. A whistling kettle is heating on an electric hotplate.

Johnny spoons cheap instant coffee into a mug. There is an open bag of sugar and a carton of milk next to the mug.

Johnny moves to his bed and sits waiting for the kettle to boil. He watches the TV programme with little interest.

On the TV screen a PRIEST is speaking. Johnny, vaguely curious, turns up the volume. We see his bemused scepticism.

PRIEST
We must endure and greet our own misfortune with hope and perseverance.

Johnny frowns.

We must not turn away from our responsibilities.

The kettle whistles.

Johnny rises and walks over to the kettle, takes it off the hotplate and makes his coffee. He takes the mug back to the bed and sits down.

He watches the priest on TV again.

Let each desperate voice ask, not what do I want from the Lord but what does the Lord want from me. Let each victim ask not what can I take from those by whom I have been wronged but what have I left that I can give to those in greater need. For truly faith conquers all misfortune.

Church organ music plays from the TV.

JOHNNY
(angrily)
You’ve clearly never been a bloody victim!
(raising his voice at the screen)
What the hell would you know about the real world? Power, that’s what it’s all about. Politics, not the …

He cannot find the word.

… flaming word of God! Blind, stupid, bloody faith! We had faith! Ten years faith. Where did it get us?

He is too angry to say more. Shaking in silent rage, he leans forward and forcefully switches off the TV spilling his coffee in the process.

Oh, Jesus!

EXT. A BUSY STREET – DAY

Johnny walks along with his head down and his hands in his pockets. He looks furtive. He sees a wallet lying partially obscured by litter next to a wall. He kneels pretending to tie his shoelace and picks up the wallet. Without looking at it, he slips it into his coat pocket.

INT. JOHNNY’S HALLWAY – DAY

Johnny closes the front door behind him. He turns and hurries up the stairs. Mrs. Jones looks out of her door but he is gone. She cranes her neck then, with a suspicious expression, silently closes her door.

INT. JOHNNY’S BEDSIT – DAY

Johnny sits on his bed. He empties out the contents of the wallet. It contains papers, credit cards and banknotes. Johnny counts the notes, which are in large denominations.

JOHNNY
Four hundred and fifteen.

He picks up the credit cards and reads the name.

J G Smith.

He looks at the papers.

(softly)
New York.

He scoops it all back together.

Bloody useful right now.

He looks up to the ceiling.

(cynically)
Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord.

INT. JENNY’S KITCHEN – DAY

The kitchen is spotless. Jenny is putting away crockery.

The doorbell rings in the distance and Jenny goes to answer it.

INT. JENNY’S HALLWAY – DAY

Jenny opens the front door to face Johnny.

She cannot conceal her surprise at his dishevelled appearance. Their faces show mixed emotion.

JOHNNY
(almost inaudibly)
Jen, may I come in?

Jenny opens the door wide and stands aside to let him pass. She moves as though to reach out to him. He walks past her into the hall and waits.

JENNY
Are you … alright?

She reaches out to clasp his hand but then looks at him anxiously and hesitates.

JOHNNY
I’m fine. You, you look …

He searches for a word.

… nice.

She nods.

JENNY
Come right in.

She ushers him into the kitchen.

INT. JENNY’S KITCHEN – DAY

He looks all around at familiar things then turns to face her. Each looks into the other’s face.

JENNY
Johnny?

JOHNNY
I can’t talk about things right now.

JENNY
Okay. Would you like a cup of coffee?

JOHNNY
Please.

She turns and busies herself with making coffee.

JENNY
I’m so glad …

She chokes back a tear and rushes her words.

I’m so glad you’re alright. We’ve missed you. The boys have missed you. Oh, Johnny.

She turns back to him. His eyes are watering. She puts both arms around him.

Johnny.

He does not move away from her but he is rigid, maybe because he feels unclean. She detaches herself gently.

I’ll make your coffee. Do you want to go in and sit down?

He shakes his head and stands in the kitchen while she finishes making coffee. She hands him a mug with a large letter J on it. She picks up a similar but different coloured mug for herself. Together they drink.

JOHNNY
I need some time. I’m in the middle of something.

She nods.

JENNY
Is there anything you need?

He shakes his head.

JOHNNY
I bought these for the boys.

For the first time we see the carrier bag in his hand.

JENNY
They’ll be home in half an hour. Why don’t you wait?

JOHNNY
No. Tell them I’m alright. I’d better go. I don’t want them to see me like this.

He puts the bag on the floor. She follows him out of the kitchen.

INT. JENNY’S HALLWAY – DAY

He opens the door and leaves. She watches him walk up the path without turning. She closes the door and returns to the kitchen.

INT. JENNY’S KITCHEN – DAY

She picks up the bag and opens it. She takes out two boxed toys, military assault weapons.

JENNY
Johnny, Johnny.

She puts them back into the carrier bag. She takes the two coffee mugs to the sink. She washes her mug and holds Johnny’s mug gazing into infinity. Tears stream down her face.

INT. JOHNNY’S BEDSIT – DAY

Johnny comes into his room. He has another carrier bag.

He turns on the radio, sits on the bed and takes half a dozen UK holiday brochures from the bag.

He stands and walks to the sink area. He removes the top from a tin labelled ‘rice’ and takes out the remainder of the money from the wallet. He counts it and looks satisfied. He lies back on the bed, and turns up the radio.

EXT. A HIGH STREET – DAY

Johnny, looking cleaner but still wearing his old clothes comes out of a department store with two large bags clearly containing new clothes. He walks along several shops and goes into a shoe shop.

INT. VISTA HOTEL RECEPTION – NIGHT

A 2 or 3 star hotel. The reception clock says 7 p.m.

FREDDIE, with a name badge, is on duty at the reception desk. He looks at a MAN approaching the reception desk from within the hotel. The man is well dressed in casual clothes. He is the image of Johnny.

FREDDIE
Good evening sir.

THE MAN
I’m going out. Will you call me a cab please?

FREDDIE
Certainly, sir. Shall I take your key, sir?

THE MAN
Thank you.

The Man hands over his room key attached to a large key fob, which says ‘Vista Hotel’.

Freddie picks up the telephone and waits for a line. He has time to study the Man who smiles and looks up to the CCTV camera pointing at him from behind and above the reception desk.

The Man can see that the lead from the camera goes nowhere. It is disconnected.

EXT. A PROMENADE – NIGHT

The Man is paying a taxi driver. He turns and strolls away. He walks along the promenade and after glancing through the window menu of an elegant but informal restaurant, goes inside. He is relaxed.

INT. VISTA HOTEL RECEPTION – NIGHT

Freddie watches from reception as the Man enters the hotel and approaches him.

The hotel clock shows that it is a little before 11 p.m.

FREDDIE
If you hurry, sir, you’ll just catch the dining room.

He hands the Man his key.

THE MAN
(taking the key)
I’ve eaten, thanks. Goodnight Freddie.

FREDDIE
Goodnight, sir.

Freddie watches as the Man walks upstairs.

INT. VISTA HOTEL RECEPTION – DAY

Mid-morning. Freddie is on duty. Freddie sees the Man come downstairs. He is carrying a new, light suitcase. He walks over to reception where Freddie is dealing with Lockwood, who has the young, attractive MISS MARCH, on his arm. The Man stands right of Lockwood.

FREDDIE
(to the Man)
I’ll be with you in a moment, Mr. Smith.
(turning to Lockwood)
I’ll get it for you now, sir.

He goes through a curtained archway behind reception. The Man can see through the archway that Freddie is opening the hotel safe and removing a dark green, leather briefcase with heavy brass locks and the letters R.L. embossed in gold.

The Man looks up at the CCTV camera.

Close up on the lead that goes nowhere.

Lockwood notices the Man looking at the camera and smiles. From where he is standing, the disconnected lead cannot be seen.

LOCKWOOD
(to The Man)
Can’t be too careful, you know.

Freddie brings the briefcase out and puts it on the reception desk in front of Lockwood and turned away from the Man.

FREDDIE
Check the contents please sir, before I release it.

Lockwood disengages himself from Miss March and opens the combination lock on the briefcase. He inspects the contents shielding them from the Man’s view with the lid.

Freddie can see that the briefcase contains trays of uncut diamonds.

LOCKWOOD
Yes. Everything is there. Thank you.

He closes the briefcase. The Man has his suitcase in his left hand and is leaning with his right arm on the reception desk. Freddie puts a document in front of Lockwood.

FREDDIE
Will you sign here please, sir?

Lockwood looks at Freddie with a preoccupied expression. Miss March looks at his face about to speak to him.

Suddenly, with his right hand, the Man punches Lockwood once with a precise blow to the temple, sending him sprawling, grabs the suitcase and runs out of the hotel.

Miss March screams. The Man does not look back to where Lockwood is lying on the carpet clutching his head in both hands and mouthing a silent scream.

INT. COURT CORRIDOR – DAY

From a short distance, CHARLES FLAME is the centre of a small group of excited people.

He is a successful barrister. Beneath his wig, his hair is almost black and his eyes brown. Beneath his gown his black three-piece suit is immaculate. He is confident and impressive.

He is Johnny’s double.

He shakes hands with a couple of the people with him and walks away carrying his books and papers.

Another barrister, LAWRENCE ANTAEUS, joins him. They are clearly friends.

LAWRENCE
Charles. Another satisfied customer?

CHARLES
Yep.
(looking at his pocket watch)
Finished?

LAWRENCE
Yes. Silly little matter. Doing anything this weekend?

CHARLES
Thought I’d take Vicky away somewhere.

LAWRENCE
(chuckling)
You lucky fellow. But then I suppose if she’s your wife that makes it alright.

Charles smiles and shakes his head in mock reproach. They laugh together and disappear through the door of a room marked ‘Male barristers only’.

INT. MAJESTIC HOTEL RECEPTION – DAY

A 4 or 5 star hotel. Charles and VICKY, both immaculately dressed, Charles in a different black suit, white shirt and red tie, are approaching reception.

Vicky’s classical beauty belies her hardy disposition and playful character.

A PORTER carries two expensive leather suitcases. The receptionist’s badge shows her name is HEATHER.

HEATHER
Do you have a reservation, sir?

CHARLES
Yes.

He points to an entry in the inverted register in front of him.

That’s us.

HEATHER
Thank you, sir. Will you fill in this card please?
(to the Porter)
Sam, will you take Mr. and Mrs. Flame’s bags up to room 17.

The Porter, SAM, departs with the suitcases.

While Charles completes the registration card, Vicky looks around reception. Neither of them sees Freddie begin to come into the reception area from a back room.

On seeing Charles, Freddie is visibly shaken and quickly and silently withdraws.

INT. MAJESTIC HOTEL BEDROOM – NIGHT

Charles gives Sam a tip.

Charles and Vicky are left alone. They adore each other. They embrace tenderly for a few moments. Charles puts the suitcases on the double bed.

VICKY
(mischievously)
I do hope we’re not disturbed.

CHARLES
Has someone suggested we are?

VICKY
(throwing a pillow at him)
Charles!

She sits on the bed and gazes into space.

I want to spend two days just in this room with you.

CHARLES
Don’t you think that might be a little selfish?

VICKY
(pouting affectedly)
Oh, I do hope so, darling.

She stands and they embrace again.

INT. MAJESTIC HOTEL BEDROOM – NIGHT

Vicky is sitting before the dressing table wearing a nightdress and smoothing cream into her radiant face.

Charles is sitting on the bed in a dressing gown towelling dry his hair. He smiles at her and shakes his head. She beams at him.

There is a loud knock at the door.

Charles looks at his wristwatch. It is almost midnight. He glances at the telephone and signals Vicky to be quiet.

CHARLES
Who is it?

RICHARDS
(from outside the door)
Police. Open this door.

Charles looks at Vicky and shakes his head. He indicates the bedside telephone and she moves to it like a leopardess. As he moves towards the door, a key is turned in the lock and the door flung open.

VICKY
Charles!

Charles launches himself towards the raincoated man who has burst in but checks his flight on seeing uniformed police officers behind him.

CHARLES
What the devil do you think you’re doing?

Two uniformed officers grab and roughly restrain Charles who knows better than to struggle.

Vicky is on her feet incongruously ready for a fight.

VICKY
Let him go!

RICHARDS
(to Vicky)
Who are you?
(to Charles)
Tasty piece. Having a dirty weekend this time, are we?

VICKY
How dare you! Take your hands off my husband.

With tears of fury welling in her eyes she raises her fists to beat RICHARDS on the chest. He grabs her wrists and holds her away with an amused expression.

RICHARDS
Oh, full of spunk.

VICKY
(slowly and with emphasis)
Like your mouth, you sad, impotent bastard.

Richards looks momentarily offended and Charles laughs. While still restraining Vicky, Richards responds by raising a hand to slap her face. Vicky raises her face defiantly.

CHARLES
(like steel)
Assault her and I’ll kill you.

Richards turns on Charles who holds his gaze. Richards hesitates then releases his grip on Vicky who goes to Charles.

It’s alright, darling. This gentleman is about to explain everything. That’s right, isn’t it?

RICHARDS
You answer to me. What’s your name? Your real name this time?

CHARLES
Aren’t you forgetting you have to identify yourself as a police officer before you’re even entitled to ask a question?

RICHARDS
Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. Familiar with the drill, are we?

CHARLES
You’re damn right I am.

Richards elaborately takes out his warrant card and holds it before Charles’ face.

RICHARDS
Satisfied now are we, sir? Your name?

CHARLES
I’ve no doubt that you looked at the hotel register, Mr. Richards.

RICHARDS
Oh, indeed I did, sir. In fact, I even wrote down what it said.

CHARLES
Then, disingenuous little man, you have my name and address.

RICHARDS
Uncooperative, are we, sir? Very well, if that’s the way you want to play it.
(to one of the uniformed officers)
Peters, bring him in.

PETERS goes out and returns with Freddie.

(to Freddie)
Well?

Freddie looks hesitantly at Charles. He nods.

FREDDIE
Yes, Sergeant. That’s the man.

RICHARDS
Charles Flame, or John Smith, whatever your name is, I’m arresting you on suspicion of murder and robbery on the thirteenth of March this year at the Vista Hotel. You don’t have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?

CHARLES
You can be damn sure I understand.

Richards elaborately takes out his pocket book.

RICHARDS
(sarcastically)
It’s important that I write that down.

VICKY
Charles?

RICHARDS
(to Vicky)
As for you, you can drop the pretence. I haven’t seen you around here before so get lost before I take you in as well.

Vicky shakes her head in disbelief.

RICHARDS
I said go home, tart.

VICKY
You motherfu …

CHARLES
(cutting in with a wry grin)
Vicky. Darling, telephone Sir Geoffrey then get a cab to the police station. I shan’t be there very long.
(to Richards)
I’ll get dressed now, Richards, if you don’t mind.

PETERS
Sir, I think I’ve seen this gentleman’s photograph in the paper.

Richards gives Peters a look.

INT. POLICE INTERVIEW ROOM – NIGHT

A detective sergeant, WILSON, who was not involved in his arrest, is speaking to Charles.

WILSON
Sir, we now know who you are and I’m sorry that you found it necessary to make a complaint. I can’t comment on that matter.

CHARLES
Then don’t.

WILSON
Sir, I still have to conduct my investigation. I need a statement so that I can formally eliminate you from the enquiry.

CHARLES
You don’t need a statement from me. You only need to be satisfied that I’m not involved. Where’s Mrs. Flame?

WILSON
She’s in the canteen, sir.

CHARLES
Do you intend to ask her for a statement?

WILSON
No sir, of course not.

CHARLES
Then she can sit in here while I give you mine, though what purpose it serves you still haven’t told me.

WILSON
It is just routine, sir, I assure you.

Charles shakes his head slowly.

INT. POLICE INTERVIEW ROOM – NIGHT

Vicky is sitting next to Charles. His coat is around her shoulders and she is leaning on him. She is tired, not subdued.

Close up on his tanned hand clasping her two small, paler hands.

Wilson is writing Charles’ statement.

CHARLES
(at writing speed, with a hint of exasperation)
I am a barrister. On the twelfth and thirteenth of March I was working at home on paperwork, the content of which is privileged. I had driven my wife to her parents’ home with our two children. On the evening of the twelfth, I went to a dinner at Lincoln’s Inn. The Secretary’s Office will have a copy of the seating plan. I sat between Lord Masterfield and an immediate member of the Royal Family whose identity can be obtained from my Inn. If either one of those gentlemen is interviewed, he will confirm that I was there throughout the evening certainly from seven until past midnight.
(to Wilson directly)
Do you need anything else?

WILSON
No, thank you, sir. I’m sure that’s everything. If you can sign this, I’ll have your car brought round. I imagine you’ll want to take Mrs. Flame home.

CHARLES
Imagine what you like, officer. Since you’ve seen fit to bring my car here, I’ll drive it back to the hotel.

WILSON
Well sir, I think the receptionist …

CHARLES
(cutting in)
I’m not under suspicion. Is there some reason why I should avoid the man whose accusation put me here? Is he violent?

Vicky looks up at Charles and grins.

WILSON
No, sir. Not at all, sir.

CHARLES
That’s what I thought.

INT. MAJESTIC HOTEL RECEPTION – NIGHT

Charles and Vicky approach the reception desk. Freddie is on duty. When he sees them, he looks apprehensive and apologetic. He is close to girlish tears.

FREDDIE
Good evening sir, madam. The police telephoned me. I’m terribly, terribly sorry.

Vicky looks sympathetic.

CHARLES
Think nothing of it, old chap. No harm done. We still want our room for what’s left of the weekend.

FREDDIE
There will be no charge, sir. Your account has already been credited.

Charles nods in appreciation.

CHARLES
Not at your expense I trust? Tell me this. Why did you identify me?

FREDDIE
Because you’re his spitting image, sir. His exact spitting image. He was your identical twin.

CHARLES
Identical twin?

FREDDIE
I don’t know, sir.

He hands Charles his room keys. Wilson comes into the hotel and up to reception.

CHARLES
What is it now, Sergeant?

WILSON
Sir, I’ve had an idea that I wanted to put to you.

CHARLES
For God’s sake, man. Couldn’t it wait until morning?

WILSON
It could sir, but …

CHARLES
(cutting in)
Well?

WILSON
I was excited, sir.

CHARLES
Go on.

WILSON
Sir, I want you to meet the girl who was with the victim. If she thinks you look like the man I’d like to do a photofit. She won’t be told your true identity.

Charles shakes his head slowly in disbelief at the suggestion.

INT. POLICE STATION – DAY

A photofit of Charles with the caption ‘Murder and Robbery’ is on the wall among several other notices.

Wilson is sitting at a desk in an adjacent office working with the door open.

There is a knock on the door. Wilson looks up as Peters puts his head round the open door then comes in.

WILSON
What did you find?

PETERS
I saw the seating plan, sir. It was exactly as Mr. Flame said.

WILSON
You didn’t say why you wanted to see the plan?

PETERS
No, sir. I didn’t mention any names either. But I did get a list of all the guests.

WILSON
Good lad.

PETERS
Are you going to speak to any of them, sir?

WILSON
If I do lad, it won’t be the obvious ones.

INT. POLICE STATION – DAY

Peters is being questioned by STERNFORTH.

Another officer is recording the conversation.

STERNFORTH
I’m not interested in the nature of the investigation you were making. I want to hear from you the truth behind the complaint.

PETERS
Sir? … What did DS Richards say, sir?

STERNFORTH
Never mind what he said. I’ve heard two versions of events. I know which one I prefer. You can tell me if I’m right, so let’s hear it.

PETERS
Sir, DS Richards …

His voice trails off and he looks down.

STERNFORTH
Peters, your loyalty is to the truth and your fear of me. Do you understand?

PETERS
Sir.

STERNFORTH
Alright son, let’s have it from the moment you entered the hotel.

PETERS
Sir, DS Richards told us that there had been a murder at the Vista Hotel in …

INT. POLICE STATION – DAY

Later. Sternforth is interviewing Richards. The interview is being recorded.

STERNFORTH
You are entitled to have another officer or a Federation representative present even at this stage. Do you want either of those?

RICHARDS
(crisply)
No.

Sternforth looks at him.

RICHARDS
No, thank you, sir.

STERNFORTH
I’ve finished my investigation. I’m satisfied that the complaint against you is justified. I find that you did behave in the way that the complainants have described and that you said the words that are attributed to you. Is there anything you want to say?

RICHARDS
(with suppressed fury)
No.

STERNFORTH
This finding will be recorded on your personnel record. A full written apology will be sent to each complainant. There will be no further action. Do you understand what the consequences will be if a similar finding should be made in future?

RICHARDS
(restrained)
Yes … sir.

STERNFORTH
Very well. This incident is closed.
(to the recording officer)
Turn off the tape.

The tape recorder is switched off.

STERNFORTH
(to Richards)
I wish I could say you’re a good officer. You’re a damn fool. I know all about your bullyboy tactics and you’ll be watched. Now get out.

Richards rises and opens the door to leave. He turns in the open doorway.

RICHARDS
As you say, sir. This incident is closed.

He closes the door behind him. Sternforth closes his file without expression.

INT. MRS. JONES’ LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Mrs. Jones is watching TV. The Charles/Johnny photofit appears on the screen. She leans forward, shaking her head slowly in disbelief. Her look turns slowly to one of smug self-vindication. She rises slowly, goes to a side table and picks up the receiver on her old telephone.

MRS. JONES
(murmuring to herself)
I knew there was somethin’ not right about ’im.

INT. JOHNNY’S BEDSIT – NIGHT

Johnny is sitting on his bed reading a newspaper. His clock radio says 23.05.

A radio or TV is playing in the background.

There is a quiet knock on Johnny’s door.

MRS. JONES
(from outside)
Mr. Hughes, it’s Mrs. Jones.

Johnny frowns then raises his eyebrows, puzzled.

JOHNNY
Hang on.
(under his breath)
You old bag.

He rises and opens the door. Richards barges his way in with his troops behind him. He is startled at the resemblance between Johnny and Charles and hesitates momentarily. Peters and another officer stand in the doorway. There is no attempt to grab Johnny. Mrs Jones is left outside.

RICHARDS
Are you Johnny Hughes?

JOHNNY
Yes, I am. What’s happened? What’s wrong?

RICHARDS
Johnny Hughes, or is it John Smith, I am arresting you on suspicion of murder and robbery on the thirteenth of March. You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence …

JOHNNY
(cutting in)
I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.

RICHARDS
I’ll record that as no reply. Mr. Hughes, I now intend to conduct a search of these premises for evidence relating to the offences for which you have been arrested. Here is a notice specifying my powers and your rights. If you wish, the search will be conducted after you’ve read the notice.

Johnny skims through the paper handed to him by Richards.

JOHNNY
I don’t see …

RICHARDS
(cutting in)
Have you read the notice?

JOHNNY
Yes, but …

RICHARDS
(cutting in) (to the officers)
Right, search the room. You know what you’re looking for.

The officers start to turn the place over.

JOHNNY
Now, wait just a minute.

RICHARDS
You’re under arrest for obstruction.

He grabs Johnny.

INT. JOHNNY’S BEDSIT – NIGHT

Johnny’s room has been turned upside down.

He is sitting on the bed with his hands cuffed behind his back. An officer is standing with his back against the door.

RICHARDS
Anything?

PETERS
Yes, sir. Money in the rice tin and holiday brochures. One mentions the Vista Hotel.

RICHARDS
(to Johnny)
Right, Sunshine. You put me in hot water. Now it’s my turn …

He advances towards Johnny who tenses himself.

PETERS
(cutting in)
I’ll take him to the station then, sir, and inform Sergeant Wilson.

He takes Johnny by the arm and leads him out through the door. Richards glares after him.

Mrs. Jones creeps into the room.

MRS. JONES
(to Richards)
Is there a reward?

She jumps to one side as Richards storms out without looking at her.

RICHARDS
Yeah. In Heaven.
INT. POLICE INTERVIEW ROOM – DAY

Johnny faces WORTH, his solicitor, across a desk.

JOHNNY
What the hell is this all about? I haven’t done anything.

WORTH
A courier was robbed of ten million in uncut diamonds and died from a blow to the head. The police say you’ve been identified.

JOHNNY
Ten million! You know damn well I didn’t do it.

WORTH
And you know that it’s not what I know that matters. They’ve searched your house as well.

JOHNNY
For Christ’s sake. Can’t you get me out of here?

WORTH
Jenny wanted to come and see you. I asked her to wait. There’s going to be an ID parade. If you’re not picked out you’ll be released otherwise you’ll be interviewed.

JOHNNY
How can I be picked out?

WORTH
It’s best that she sees you when we know what’s happening.

JOHNNY
Are you listening to me?

WORTH
If you’re picked out, you’re picked out. If you’re not, you’re not. We just have to wait and see.

JOHNNY
Can you get me bail?

WORTH
At the right time.

Johnny’s mind is elsewhere. Worth looks at him until he looks back.

WORTH
Going home could make the difference. Strong family background, that kind of thing.

JOHNNY
No.

INT. ID PARADE ROOM – DAY

Johnny is fourth from left in a line of eight men of similar build and general appearance.

Each man’s position is numbered above his head.

Freddie is behind a two-way mirror. He walks along from left to right and back again. He pauses each time he passes Johnny. He goes into an adjoining room with a POLICE INSPECTOR.

INT. ADJOINING ROOM – DAY

Freddie addresses the Inspector.

FREDDIE
Number four. I am absolutely certain.

INT. ID PARADE ROOM – DAY

Johnny is now sixth from left in the same line up.

Miss March walks along the line from left to right and back again behind the mirror. She goes into an adjoining room with the Inspector.

INT. ADJOINING ROOM – DAY

MISS MARCH
Number six. I am absolutely certain.

INSPECTOR
Thank you, Miss March.

INT. POLICE INTERVIEW ROOM – NIGHT

Wilson is interviewing Johnny. Worth is present.

A tape recorder, on the table between Johnny and Wilson, who is sitting with his back to the door, is recording the conversation.

WILSON
Johnny, you’ve been identified by two different witnesses, on an ID parade, as the person who snatched a briefcase containing uncut diamonds in the Vista Hotel on the thirteenth of March. What do you have to say about that?

JOHNNY
It wasn’t me.

WILSON
Are you saying that both witnesses who positively identified you are mistaken?

JOHNNY
I’m saying it wasn’t me.

WILSON
Are you saying it wasn’t you who stayed at the Vista Hotel overnight from the twelfth to the thirteenth of March?

JOHNNY
Bloody right.

WILSON
Where were you between those dates?

JOHNNY
In my room.

WILSON
Your landlady, Mrs. Jones, has given us a statement saying that she’s seen you every day that you’ve lived there except for those two days. She remembers because of what was on television.

JOHNNY
Might have been the weekend I was ill. No one saw me.

WILSON
What was wrong with you?

JOHNNY
Some sort of ’flu.

WILSON
Did you see a doctor?

JOHNNY
No. I just stayed in bed for two days.

WILSON
How do you explain the holiday brochure found in your room, advertising weekend breaks at the Vista Hotel?

JOHNNY
It’s just a brochure I picked up. I’ve never heard of the Vista Hotel. I didn’t know it was in the damn brochure. I haven’t even looked at all the brochures. If you fingerprint the brochure, you’ll probably find that my fingerprints aren’t even in it.

WILSON
They’re not. We’ve checked. But then your fingerprints aren’t in the room at the Vista Hotel either. Nobody’s are. You wiped it clean, didn’t you?

JOHNNY
(his voice rising)
No I bloody well didn’t.

WILSON
We found new clothes in your wardrobe, similar to those described by the witnesses. Where did you get the money to buy them? And the other money in your rice tin … Where did that come from?

JOHNNY
I found a wallet.

This is news to Worth who looks at Johnny.

WILSON
Go on.

JOHNNY
As I said, I found a wallet. It had money in it. A lot of money. And a credit card and some papers.

WILSON
How much money?

JOHNNY
Over four hundred pounds.

WILSON
Where’s the wallet now?

JOHNNY
I threw it away. In a skip I walked past.

WILSON
Do you remember the name on the credit card?

JOHNNY
Smith. J Smith.

WILSON
(resignedly)
The name you used at the Vista Hotel.

JOHNNY
No!

WILSON
Look Johnny, why don’t you just come clean and tell us what you’ve done with the briefcase and the jewellery?

Johnny looks at Worth who looks down hopelessly and shakes his head.

WILSON
If a wallet with four hundred pounds in it had been reported missing, I’d know about it. There isn’t any wallet, is there?

JOHNNY
He was from New York. The man whose wallet it was. He was from New York.

Wilson shakes his head.

JOHNNY
Where do you think I got the money to buy new clothes?

WILSON
That’s what I’m asking you and if that’s your answer, so be it.

He draws a deep breath.

WILSON
To recap.
(counting off on his fingers)
Your landlady didn’t see you on the weekend in question. You’ve been positively identified by two witnesses as having been at the Vista Hotel and as the man who stole a consignment of jewels worth ten million pounds.

He looks hard at Johnny.

There were no fingerprints in the hotel room. A brochure about the Vista Hotel is found in your room. That much is right isn’t it?

JOHNNY
So you say.

WILSON
Johnny, cut the crap. Where are the diamonds?

JOHNNY
I don’t know what you’re talking about.

WILSON
Johnny, a man died. You’re going to be charged with murder. If you come clean now, I don’t know. What you say, if it’s accepted, may not amount to murder. It may be manslaughter.

Johnny looks at him.

WILSON
And a certain company isn’t anxious to publicise the fact that an opportunist thief robbed one of its international couriers.

He looks intently at Johnny.

If it were opportunist.

WORTH
Are you saying that if the diamonds are returned, Johnny won’t be charged with robbery or murder, just manslaughter?

WILSON
No. I can’t make any promises in return for confessions. What I’m saying is that if they are recovered we could have some difficulty in getting witnesses to court in a matter the press don’t know about.

WORTH
Johnny?

JOHNNY
What? Whose side are you on? It’s your job to believe me. I didn’t kill anybody. I didn’t steal any diamonds. I wasn’t there. Do you understand?

INT. JENNY’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Jenny’s nose is red from crying. She is barely able to speak without crying again.

Sarah has her arm around Jenny’s shoulders.

JENNY
Why wouldn’t they let me see him?

SARAH
They can’t make exceptions. You’ll be able to see him at court tomorrow.

JENNY
You told me that he wouldn’t do anything foolish. I know you’re trying to help but you don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

INT. MAGISTRATES’ COURT – DAY

Three disinterested justices are sitting. The MAGISTRATES’ COURT CLERK sits in front of the Bench.

Johnny is sitting in the dock with an officer beside him. Worth is standing in the front row facing the Bench.

The PROSECUTOR is sitting at the far end of the same row.

Jenny is sitting at the back of the court amongst other, rougher, elements of the public.

COURT CLERK
(addressing the justices)
Sir, this matter is triable only on indictment. The next appearance will be in the Crown Court on a date to be notified.
(to the Prosecutor)
What’s the position regarding bail?

PROSECUTOR
(rising to his feet)
Sir, I oppose any application for bail. I propose to call the officer in the case to deal with the objections, Detective Sergeant Richards.

INT. MAGISTRATES’ COURT – DAY

Richards is in the witness box. Worth is seated.

Pan on different faces while he speaks.

RICHARDS
Your Worships, this was a particularly callous robbery that ended in murder.

The justices look at him and he relishes the moment.

This defendant booked in to a hotel in a false name, John Smith. We now suspect he had inside knowledge that the victim was there with a consignment of uncut diamonds worth, a conservative estimate, ten million pounds.

The justices exchange glances. The public looks at Johnny with a kind of respect.

He committed the robbery within seconds of the victim retrieving the diamonds from the hotel safe. The violence he used resulted in the victim’s death.

He looks at Johnny.

Both the companion of the deceased and a member of the hotel staff picked out the defendant in an identification parade. The property has not been recovered. In interview, the defendant continually denied any involvement despite the fact that holiday brochures featuring the hotel were found in his bedsit.

The CHAIRMAN looks at Johnny with undisguised disdain.

CHAIRMAN
What’s his background?

RICHARDS
Sir, he walked out on his wife. He’s unemployed. Doesn’t support his two children.

CHAIRMAN
And no doubt, you would tell me that if he were admitted to bail, there is a real fear, given the mandatory sentence if he is convicted, that he will fail to surrender to bail when required to do so?

RICHARDS
(with obvious relish)
And because the property has not been recovered, sir.

CHAIRMAN
Of course.
(to Worth)
Do you wish to say anything, Mr. Worth?

WORTH
(standing)
I should think so, sir, as it’s my application.

The Chairman shrugs his shoulders.

CHAIRMAN
(patronisingly)
Mr. Worth, my colleagues and I will listen to everything you have to say to us. Take as much time as you feel you need.
(to Richards)
Thank you for coming to court, officer. You may leave if you wish.

Richards starts to leave the witness box as Worth opens his mouth in protest and the Court Clerk interrupts.

COURT CLERK
Sir, Mr. Worth may wish to cross-examine the officer.
(to Richards)
Stay there.

WORTH
(to Richards)
Officer, it’s right isn’t it, that my client is a man with no criminal record?

RICHARDS
No previous criminal record, sir.

WORTH
No criminal record at all, Mr. Richards, because he hasn’t been convicted of any matter, has he?

COURT CLERK
(cutting in)
Mr. Worth, I’m sure the Bench knows what the officer means.

WORTH
I’m sure it does.
(to Richards)
Mr. Richards, you said you now suspect that the person who committed this offence acted with some inside knowledge?

RICHARDS
I’m sure he did, sir.

CHAIRMAN
Officer, it’s for another tribunal to judge the facts. We are dealing with a bail application.

WORTH
And there’s no evidence that my client had any inside knowledge, is there?

RICHARDS
It hasn’t come to light yet, sir.

WORTH
Is there any evidence to show that my client knew the victim or anything about his business?

RICHARDS
No, sir.

WORTH
I’ve no further questions.

Richards leaves the witness box and Worth addresses the justices.

Sir, firstly, you’ve heard what the officer has said about my client’s character and that the question of inside knowledge is no more than a fanciful suggestion. My client is a victim of mistaken identity.

Two of the justices start whispering to each other. Worth stops talking and waits until they realise that he has stopped talking. When he has their attention he continues.

Secondly, my client was made redundant from his managerial position in a national publishing company. His wife draws from his redundancy pay what she needs to clothe and feed the family, none of whom is dependent upon the state.

The justices begin to look impatient. Worth slows his speech deliberately and noticeably.

My client will agree to any bail conditions the court might wish to impose, surrendering his passport, reporting daily to the police station, putting up the rest of his redundancy money as surety to secure his attendance at trial and a condition that he resides at the family address. His wife, with whom he has effected a permanent reconciliation, is here today in support of his application.

Close up on Jenny sitting at the back of the court. The justices ignore her.

If your worships are prepared to grant bail on that basis, I shall address you further on the amount of any proposed surety.

CHAIRMAN
We will retire to consider the matter.

Everybody stands as the justices leave.

INT. MAGISTRATES’ COURT – DAY

Johnny is standing in the dock with an officer beside him. Jenny is standing outside the dock but is leaning her head on him.

Jenny looks at Worth.

JENNY
How long will they be?

WORTH
Really can’t say.

JENNY
Is it a good sign? Does it mean they’re thinking about it?

RICHARDS
(to Johnny)
These woodentops won’t give you bail. They’re having a cup of tea.

Jenny looks at him, then as if to confirm her worst fears the sound of teacups and muffled laughter is heard from beyond the door to the justices’ room. She looks at the Court Clerk.

JENNY
(incredulously)
Are they having tea?

The Court Clerk is embarrassed.

COURT CLERK
They do sometimes take a break around this time.

RICHARDS
(snorting)
Tea break.

COURT CLERK
You don’t have to stay, officer.

INT. MAGISTRATES’ COURT – DAY

The justices come back into court. Everybody stands. The Chairman quickly wipes his mouth with his handkerchief. Everybody sits. There is a silence.

COURT CLERK
Stand up, Mr. Hughes.

CHAIRMAN
The application is refused.

COURT CLERK
Do you say sir that there is a serious risk that the defendant will fail to appear if given bail.

CHAIRMAN
Yes. Next case.

Johnny turns and nods to Jenny who smiles bleakly and tries to nod supportively. As he is pulled away, Jenny wilts and covers her face with her hands.

INT. MAGISTRATES’ COURT CELL – DAY

Worth and Jenny are visiting Johnny in the cells below the court. Johnny is sitting on a bench staring at the floor and ignoring his visitors.

WORTH
You’re lucky they let Jenny in.

Johnny ignores him.

Come on. Don’t make it any harder for her than it already is.

JENNY
Johnny?

Johnny ignores her and speaks to Worth.

JOHNNY
I thought you were going to get me bail.

WORTH
Who are you annoyed at Johnny? Jenny or me?

Johnny looks up at Worth.

JOHNNY
Alright.

Slowly he looks at Jenny.

I’m sorry.

JENNY
(throwing her arms around Johnny)
Johnny, why can’t it be like it was?

Johnny responds to her embrace. She cries.

JOHNNY
It’s okay. I’m back.

Worth looks embarrassed at his unavoidable intrusion into this intimate moment.

JENNY
You’ve never been gone.

They embrace moments longer then separate and Johnny looks up at Worth.

JOHNNY
Oh, you’re still here?

JENNY
(to Johnny)
Is there anything you need?

JOHNNY
Bail?

WORTH
It was worth a try but there wasn’t really a chance of bail. Not until I’ve seen the prosecution statements and find a weakness.

JOHNNY
So I just dangle in the air, do I?

WORTH
None of my clients dangle in the air.

JOHNNY
Since they abolished hanging.

WORTH
Johnny, sometimes you’re a real piece of wit. I want to go through all the statements before I apply for bail again. A Crown Court judge may not object to conditional bail if you live at home and give a surety from your redundancy money.

JENNY
What do you mean, a surety?

WORTH
The money’s safe if Johnny doesn’t run.

JENNY
Then it’s safe. Do it. Tell the court his children need him.

WORTH
And his wife.

INT. JENNY’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Jenny is moping around aimlessly, picking up ornaments and putting them down again. She picks up a silver frame with photographs of a younger Johnny in combat fatigues with other soldiers.

INT. SOLICITOR’S OFFICE – DAY

Worth is reading the prosecution papers in Johnny’s case. He skims through papers marked ‘Unused Material’. A document catches his eye. He whistles, excitedly picks up the telephone and dials.

INT. JENNY’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

The telephone rings.

Jenny lets it ring then just as it seems it would stop, she picks it up.

INT. SOLICITOR’S OFFICE – DAY

Worth is talking to Jenny on the telephone. He is excited.

WORTH
I have a statement here from a barrister called Charles Flame.

JENNY
(on the telephone)
Who?

WORTH
I’ve heard the name. He says where he was on the night the police say Johnny was at the Vista Hotel. I need to know how he’s involved.

JENNY
Why are you telling me and not Johnny?

WORTH
You’ll see him before I can and I want to speak to this Charles Flame first.

INT. CHAMBERS – EVENING

A sumptuous room with endless bookcases and law books. Charles is seated at an oak desk working.

There is a knock and the door opens. KENNETH, a clerk, pokes his head around the door.

KENNETH
Sir, your six o’clock’s here.

CHARLES
Thank you. Send him in.

Worth enters the room. Charles stands to greet him. The door closes behind Worth who cannot conceal his surprise at the resemblance between Charles and Johnny.

WORTH
Mr. Flame?

CHARLES
Sit down, Mr. Worth. How do you think I can help you?

WORTH
It’s good of you to see me at such short notice.

Charles shrugs his shoulders and smiles indulgently.

CHARLES
I’m at your disposal.

He lifts the telephone.

Kenneth, would you kindly bring in a pot of tea? Thank you.

WORTH
Forgive my staring at you when I came in. I have a client. I don’t mean to be rude but you don’t just look like him. You’re identical.

Worth opens his briefcase.

I have a photograph of him.

He takes a photograph from his briefcase and passes it to Charles who looks at it at length. His face reveals nothing. He looks up at Worth.

He’s been charged with …

CHARLES
(cutting in)
Murder and robbery at the Vista Hotel on the thirteenth of March.

WORTH
Yes.

CHARLES
You’re representing him and you have a copy of the statement I made and that’s how you come to be here. I expected someone.

There is a knock at the door and Kenneth brings in a silver tray with tea and biscuits, which he leaves on a side table and then departs.

Charles takes no notice.

Who is this man?

WORTH
His name’s Johnny Hughes. He’s …

Charles lifts his hand to silence Worth.

CHARLES
Did you know he looked like me?

WORTH
No. That came as quite a shock. Have you ever seen him before?

CHARLES
Not that I recall. As you say, quite a shock.

Charles rises and pours two cups of tea. He carries the tray to his desk and helps himself to milk and sugar and nods to Worth to do the same which he does.

What do you think I can do to help you?

WORTH
I don’t know. I wasn’t sure before I came here. I’m even less sure now.

CHARLES
You know, of course, that I can’t represent your client. Whether or not there’s anything else I can do I can’t say at this stage. I am certainly intrigued. If you send me copies of the papers I’ll give the matter some thought.

WORTH
I’d be grateful.

CHARLES
When was he born?

Worth delves into his briefcase and looks at his papers.

WORTH
Twentieth April nineteen seventy.

Charles writes down the date.

CHARLES
There’s little I can do until I hear from you, unless there’s anything else you wish to say to me?

WORTH
No. Well … I’m not too sure what to say to my client about you.

CHARLES
It’s not for me to tell you how to conduct your case but you may think it’s best to say very little until you can say something positive.

WORTH
Thank you. I just wish I could give him some hope.

CHARLES
Well, I’m sure one can always do that, even in the most seemingly hopeless of cases.

Charles stands and Worth rises to shake his hand.

INT. CHARLES’ DRAWING ROOM – EVENING

Charles is sitting on the settee far away in thought holding an envelope. Vicky enters unnoticed. She comes up to him from behind and massages his shoulders. He puts his hands on hers.

VICKY
Darling?

CHARLES
I love you, Vicky. Very deeply.

She moves round to sit beside him, slipping off her shoes and putting her legs up on the seat. She leans into him and he puts his arm round her.

VICKY
I know you do. What’s in the letter?

He turns to face her.

CHARLES
Vicks, I want you to come with me to meet my brother’s wife.

Vicky opens her mouth but says nothing.

INT. JENNY’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Jenny is sitting in an armchair facing Charles and Vicky who are sitting on the settee.

JENNY
This is a surprise.

CHARLES
My adoptive father, Sir Geoffrey, registered my birth. We were never able to trace my real parents. The adoption agency records were destroyed in a fire.

JENNY
I’m so sorry. I’m sure Johnny doesn’t even know you exist. Sarah’s such a wonderful woman. She would never … I’m sorry. I’m not saying the right things, am I? How did you find out Sarah’s name if you haven’t seen Johnny?

Charles shows Jenny the envelope that Vicky saw earlier.

CHARLES
When Worth revealed we had the same date of birth I got a copy of Johnny’s birth certificate. Your address was in the papers Worth sent.

Vicky squeezes his arm.

JENNY
She doesn’t live far away. I don’t know how she’s going to take this. She’s a very strong woman but she’s kept this hidden for so long.

CHARLES
I want to meet her. There’s a lot I’d like to know before I meet Johnny.

VICKY
(to Jenny)
Please take us. Charles won’t distress her.

JENNY
Do you think I don’t know that?

Jenny’s eyes water. Vicky embraces her with empathy.

It’s just all too much for me.

VICKY
Charles will take care of everything. He always does.

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET – DAY

Charles’ Daimler stops outside a small semi-detached house. He gets out and opens the rear passenger door. Jenny steps onto the pavement.

JENNY
Let me go in first with your wife.

VICKY
(from the car)
Vicky.

CHARLES
Alright, I’ll wait here. Don’t upset her.

Jenny and Vicky walk up the front path through the neglected garden. Jenny knocks on the door and after a few moments Sarah opens it. She is very striking and Vicky gazes at her.

SARAH
Jenny. I was thinking about you. You’ve brought a friend. How very nice. Do come in, both of you.

JENNY
Sarah, this is Vicky. She’s …

SARAH
(cutting in)
Tell me inside.

She looks past them to the car.

Your friend has a very nice car. Is there somebody in it? Would they like to come in?

JENNY
It’s Vicky’s husband.

SARAH
Jenny, go and ask him in.

JENNY
There’s something I want to talk about first over a cup of tea.

SARAH
Is something wrong? Has something happened to Johnny in that place?

JENNY
No, there’s nothing wrong at all.

She takes Sarah’s arm and guides her into the house.

INT. SARAH’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

JENNY
It’s not to do with Johnny being where he is. Well, perhaps in a way it’s got something to do with that.

SARAH
You make it all sound rather mysterious and dramatic. Jenny, take Vicky’s coat and sit you down while I make tea.

Vicky smiles, pleased with Sarah’s genuine warmth.

INT. SARAH’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Jenny, Sarah and Vicky are sitting round a small table sipping tea. There is a plate of homemade scones in front of them.

SARAH
(to Vicky)
You should bring your husband in. I baked these especially for visitors.

VICKY
That’s very kind of you but he’s fine. In fact, he won’t eat scones. He never has. He says he doesn’t like the burned currants on the outside.

SARAH
He sounds just like my son, Johnny. He says exactly the same thing.

Vicky and Jenny exchange glances. The exchange does not go unnoticed by Sarah.

My dear, what is it you want to talk to me about?

JENNY
Sarah, I’ve always been honest with you and straightforward. I don’t know how what I’m going to tell you is going to affect you. I think it’s something wonderful.

She hesitates.

SARAH
Is Vicky concerned with this?

JENNY
Yes.

SARAH
Well if you can’t tell me perhaps Vicky will. It must be something important for you to be so enigmatic.

JENNY
Is Johnny a twin?

The question hits Sarah like a bombshell. She sits right back in her chair and she gazes at them both. She is struggling to contain over forty years of suppressed pain. After a long silence she replies.

SARAH
Yes … Yes. He had a brother. What’s happened, Jenny?

JENNY
(suddenly very emotional and struggling with words)
We’ve, I, Oh God, I hope I’ve done the right thing.

She draws a deep, shuddering breath.

We’ve found him.

SARAH
My baby? You’ve found Charles?

Vicky gasps.

Where is he? Does he want to see me? Oh dear God how I’ve prayed for this.

JENNY
Sarah …

She stands.

Sarah, he’s outside in the car.

She clasps Sarah’s hands.

He’s Vicky’s husband.

SARAH
(shocked, to Vicky)
He doesn’t hate me does he? I’ve carried the cross for so long.

Vicky goes to her.

VICKY
(with moist eyes)
He doesn’t hate you. He aches to be held in your arms.

There is a knock on the front door.

He can’t wait any longer either.

She rises and leaves the room to open the front door. Jenny assists Sarah to her feet and turns her to face the open room door. They hear the front door closing.

Sarah waits expectantly. Vicky comes in through the door. She turns to look behind her.

Charles?

Jenny takes Sarah towards the open room door.

Charles steps into view.

From where Charles is standing, Sarah’s face is bathed in the golden light that streams through the window. She is sixteen again.

In the golden silence that descends, Charles clasps his mother to his broad chest. Her beautiful, radiant face flows freely with tears. Charles puts his cheek on hers. She opens her mouth to speak and he gently touches her lips with his finger because there is nothing for either to say.

His own eyes brim with tears.

Jenny and Vicky hug each other.

INT. PRISON CELL – DAY

Johnny is lying on a grey prison blanket on the bed. He gets up and looks at himself in the mirror.

JOHNNY
(deadpan)
I’m in a spot of bother, old boy.

INT. SARAH’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Jenny, Vicky and Charles are listening to Sarah who gives her account slowly and carefully with the pain of memory evident on her face.

SARAH
I was only sixteen when you and Johnny were born. There was still a lot of hardship then for some families.

Her mind wanders back.

I’ll tell you as I remember and as it was told to me. Your father, Billy Watts, was an orphan. He was my first beau.

She looks up.

My only beau. When I fell pregnant for you both he ran away to sea, frightened of what my father would do to him. I never wanted to let you go. Nor did my father. He found out what ship Billy was on and asked him to come back.

She pauses and her eyes water.

JENNY
Sarah?

Sarah shakes her head and composes herself.

SARAH
On the way home, Billy was killed. When the letter arrived, Papa blamed himself. A job came up. It had risks but Papa took it. He was injured, crippled, as Jenny knows.

She pauses and no one speaks. When she is ready, she continues.

We had no money and, God forgive me, I put you both up for adoption. Charles?

Charles takes her hands in his.

You were placed first. Before Johnny was placed, Billy’s sea chest was brought home. Somewhere, in his travels he’d found pearls. Not a fortune but to us, riches beyond our wildest dreams. The captain sold them for us. What wasn’t spent on trying to get you back, Charles, was spent on getting Papa well. I’m so sorry.

CHARLES
There’s nothing to forgive. Sir Geoffrey … my adoptive father, spent a great deal of time and money trying to trace you.

SARAH
Papa was told that the adoption agency records had been lost in a fire.

CHARLES
So was Sir Geoffrey. He didn’t believe it but there was simply no direction left in which to go.

INT. PRISON VISITOR’S ROOM – DAY

Worth is sitting behind a glass security screen. Charles is standing in shadow behind Worth.

A Prison WARDER brings Johnny to the other side of the screen.

WARDER
(to Worth)
Press the button in the wall when you’re ready to go sir.

The Warder leaves. Johnny sits down ignoring Charles.

JOHNNY
Thanks for your letter. What’s the surprising development you have to see me about?

WORTH
This is Charles Flame. The barrister who gave a statement to the police.

JOHNNY
The first suspect.

WORTH
Yes.

JOHNNY
How does that help me?

WORTH
Charles Flame looks like you.

Charles steps forward. Johnny squints and rubs his eyes in sheer disbelief. His look changes to one of incredulity.

EXT. PARK BENCH – DAY

PORTMAN, a well-dressed, intellectual looking man, is sitting on the bench reading a newspaper.

Sternforth strolls up and sits down placing a newspaper between them. They do not look at each other. Portman folds his newspaper and puts it on top of Sternforth’s. He stretches and yawns, picks up both newspapers and strolls off.

Sternforth takes out a small packet of sandwiches and begins to munch.

INT. PRISON VISITOR’S ROOM – DAY

JOHNNY
As you say, quite a shock. I have quite a few more questions.

CHARLES
There’ll be time for that. There are three things to be done. Find you a barrister, get you bail and buy you a new suit, shirt and tie which I want you to wear in court.

JOHNNY
Four. Make sure my family, all my family, are okay.

CHARLES
My wife already has.

Charles stands to go.

JOHNNY
One last thing.

Charles pauses as Johnny stands.

Thanks.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Lawrence is making a bail application for Johnny who is not in court. Neither he, nor the JUDGE, nor prosecution counsel, GUERLAIN, is robed.

LAWRENCE
Your Honour, I concede that on the face of the papers, this is not a matter where the defendant could expect to be admitted to bail. However, Your Honour will not have seen the unused material in this case.

JUDGE
Well, you’d better tell me about it.

LAWRENCE
The issue is identification. One person, as Your Honour knows, committed the alleged offences. My client, John Hughes, was picked out on an ID parade by the hotel receptionist, Freddie Johnson and by the companion of the alleged victim, Miss March.

JUDGE
Quite compelling evidence isn’t it?

LAWRENCE
Your Honour, yes, save for this. The police initially arrested a different man. A man also brought to their attention by Freddie Johnson, who then identified that same man again in his hotel room.

JUDGE
If, for the purposes of your argument, the identification by Freddie Johnson is unreliable, that still leaves the positive identification of your client by Miss March. Did she too identify the first man?

LAWRENCE
No, Your Honour. Indeed she was not called upon to do so.

JUDGE
Without asking you to give evidence, do you know whether or not they look similar?

LAWRENCE
Your Honour, I’ve not seen either man or his photograph. In fact I haven’t even seen the unused material and rely upon my comprehensive instructions.

JUDGE
(to the other barrister)
Can you assist, Mr. Guerlain?

GUERLAIN
(rising to his feet)
What Your Honour has been told by my learned friend is correct. All I can add is the other man’s name, which my learned friend may not know.

JUDGE
No. If it’s in the unused material perhaps I ought not to be told at this stage.

Guerlain sits down.

(to Lawrence)
What about the other evidence against your client? I seem to recall from my brief glance through the papers, before I came into court, that your client claimed to have found some money belonging to a J Smith, the ‘alias’, if you like, of the robber. Didn’t he also have a brochure naming the hotel where the alleged robbery occurred?

LAWRENCE
As far as the money is concerned, it defies belief that my client would have told the police the money belonged to J Smith if he had been the person who used that name at the Vista Hotel. The name John Smith in a hotel register is itself the stuff of music hall jokes.

JUDGE
What do you say about the brochure?

LAWRENCE
Your Honour, I have a letter from the travel firm. My learned friend has seen it.

Guerlain nods his agreement at the Judge.

Over a thousand of those brochures have been delivered to local travel agents since January. How many have been distributed I cannot say, but Your Honour, I submit that the evidential value of both the money and the brochure in my client’s possession is insignificant.

JUDGE
It’s still evidence for the jury. Is there anything else?

LAWRENCE
Your Honour, my learned friend confirms that the police never checked the alibi of the man initially arrested. All the more remarkable because he was actually arrested in a hotel belonging to the same chain. If my client is innocent, then it may be argued that man, whoever he be, is guilty.

JUDGE
Is that right, Mr. Guerlain, that the previous suspect’s alibi was not checked? If it is, it puts a different complexion on the matter because the police have failed in their duty to properly and adequately eliminate him from suspicion, haven’t they?

GUERLAIN
Regrettably, that seems to be the case, Your Honour.

JUDGE
I was minded not to grant bail but now I think I have to don’t I? Mr. Guerlain?

GUERLAIN
With conditions, Your Honour?

JUDGE
No, Mr. Guerlain. Unconditional. I now have serious doubt that the defendant should have been arrested at all.

INT. POLICE STATION – DAY

Richards barges in and goes up to Wilson who is working at his desk.

RICHARDS
He got bail then?

WILSON
Who?

RICHARDS
Bloody Hughes.

WILSON
Yeah?

RICHARDS
Did you check out Flame’s alibi?

WILSON
It checks.

RICHARDS
Who with?

Wilson looks up.

WILSON
With whom? With the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.

RICHARDS
Not with any guests, other barristers?

WILSON
Not specifically.

RICHARDS
What do you mean? Not specifically? I’ll check it my bloody self.

He storms out. Wilson carries on unperturbed.

INT. CHARLES’ DRAWING ROOM – DAY

The room is empty. The telephone rings.

Charles walks into the room and answers it. We hear the telephone voice of Lawrence.

LAWRENCE
(on the telephone)
Charles?

CHARLES
Yes.

LAWRENCE
Hello, old boy. Lawrence. Look here, I’ve had the police on the blower asking questions about you.

CHARLES
Go on.

LAWRENCE
Wanted to know about the dinner. The one in March. Whether I saw you there.

CHARLES
What did you tell them?

LAWRENCE
What do you think, old boy. You just watch your back, that’s all.

CHARLES
What did you tell them, Lawrence?

LAWRENCE
(chuckling)
I told them the truth, naturally, that I couldn’t remember the date and would have to rely on you to refresh my memory.

CHARLES
Thanks, old man. I’m sorry about this. I’ll explain it all in a month or two.

LAWRENCE
No need, old boy. The pleasure’s mine. Ciao.

INT. A MAN’S SHOP – DAY

Johnny is being dressed in a dark blue pinstripe suit. Charles is looking through silk ties.

JOHNNY
I can’t wear this. I’ll look like you.

CHARLES
Trust me.
(to the Assistant)
These ties, three white cotton tunic shirts, studs and plain gilt cufflinks.

The ASSISTANT smiles obligingly.

INT. CHAMBERS – DAY

Lawrence is sat at his desk. Charles is looking out of the window as he speaks.

CHARLES
I think you’ll be quite taken aback when you meet him.

LAWRENCE
Two of you, dear boy, would be enough to shake the strongest constitution.

CHARLES
It’s in your hands now. Your trial.

LAWRENCE
No problem, old boy. You’re not the only one with a trick or two, or should I say ace, up his sleeve.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

The day of Johnny’s trial.

Johnny is in the dock talking in hushed tones to Lawrence. He is wearing the dark blue pinstripe suit and a blue silk tie. Guerlain is sitting reading his papers. The Judge enters and all in court rise to their feet. Lawrence takes his place. The Judge sits down. He squints at Johnny as though surprised. He shuffles through his papers.

JUDGE
What’s the defendant’s name?

GUERLAIN
John Hughes, Your Honour.

The Judge puts on his spectacles and peers again at Johnny.

JUDGE
Very well.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Guerlain is on his feet. Freddie is giving evidence.

FREDDIE
Mr. Lockwood’s head hit the floor with such force. He never got up again.

GUERLAIN
Are you able to say what caused his head to hit the floor?

FREDDIE
The extremely violent and deliberately placed punch from Mr. Smith.

Jurors frown at Johnny.

It was so unnecessary.

GUERLAIN
Did you see what happened to the briefcase?

FREDDIE
Mr. Smith grabbed it and sprinted out the door.

He looks down, draws breath and looks up again.

He didn’t look back to see what he’d done to Mr. Lockwood.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Later. Lawrence is cross-examining Freddie.

LAWRENCE
Why are you so certain that the defendant is the man you saw?

FREDDIE
I’ve been doing the job so long now that, for months, sometimes years, I can remember the faces of people whom I’ve only seen for a few seconds. I couldn’t forget his face after what he did.

A couple of middle-aged jurors mouth the words ‘that’s right’. Lawrence seems to be struggling.

LAWRENCE
After the robbery at the Vista you moved to the Majestic Hotel, didn’t you?

FREDDIE
Yes.

LAWRENCE
You believed at one stage that you saw Mr. Lockwood’s attacker there?

FREDDIE
Yes.

LAWRENCE
You had only a fleeting glimpse of a man in reception yet were so certain he was the attacker that you were shocked and distressed?

FREDDIE
Yes.

LAWRENCE
And later, that same evening, you positively identified that man, in his room, to the police, when you had the opportunity to study him before making an identification?

FREDDIE
Yes.

LAWRENCE
You saw him for a third time that day when he and his wife came back to the Majestic Hotel?

FREDDIE
Yes.

The members of the JURY look bored.

LAWRENCE
Yet that man is not the man who is in the dock now?

FREDDIE
No.

The members of the jury sit up.

LAWRENCE
How do you account for identifying, on more than one occasion, a man whom you now say is the wrong man?

FREDDIE
At the time I thought it was him.

LAWRENCE
Thought? You believed it was him, didn’t you?

FREDDIE
Yes.

LAWRENCE
That man was wearing a black suit and red tie when you first saw him. That’s right isn’t it?

FREDDIE
Black suit. Red tie. Yes.

LAWRENCE
Your Honour, I see the time. I shall be a little longer with this witness.
The wall clock says 4.15.

JUDGE
Very well. Ten-thirty tomorrow morning. Members of the jury, don’t discuss the evidence with anyone outside of your own number.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

The wall clock says 10.30.

Johnny, in the dock, is now wearing the black suit and red tie Charles wore at The Majestic.

LAWRENCE
Is the man in the dock the man you saw at the Majestic?

FREDDIE
(without looking at Johnny)
No.

LAWRENCE
Look at him, please.

Freddie looks.

FREDDIE
No. That’s not the man I saw at the Majestic.

LAWRENCE
You say that, don’t you, because the police told you that the man at the Majestic was the wrong man?

FREDDIE
(hesitantly)
No. I positively identified the real man at the ID parade at the police station. No one pointed him out to me.

LAWRENCE
Positively identified him. Your phrase?
FREDDIE
Yes.

LAWRENCE
But you also positively identified the man at the Majestic?

FREDDIE
Yes, but now I know I was wrong.

LAWRENCE
You were certain with only a fleeting glimpse? Then you confront him in his room and again you were certain.

FREDDIE
I thought it was him then.

LAWRENCE
On your own evidence that’s not right. You positively identified him. Your phrase.

Freddie does not reply.

Didn’t you?

FREDDIE
Yes.

LAWRENCE
Then as a result of what you were told by the police, and the fact that the man returned to stay at the hotel, you became convinced that you had picked out the wrong man?

FREDDIE
Yes.

LAWRENCE
So that earlier positive identification was wrong.

The jurors are on the edge of their seats.

Freddie is acutely aware of the hushed silence waiting to be broken by his reply.

FREDDIE
Yes.

LAWRENCE
If you had been told nothing by the police, and had never spoken to the man at the Majestic again, you wouldn’t have been able to say that your two identifications of that man were wrong, would you?

FREDDIE
(defiantly)
Yes I would because at the ID parade I picked out the man in the dock.

Lawrence pauses to think.

LAWRENCE
Well, this is the crux of the matter isn’t it? You can tell the difference between them?

Freddie does not reply.

Is the answer no, that you can’t tell which man attacked Mr. Lockwood, or yes, you can?

Freddie looks helplessly at Guerlain who looks away neutrally.

FREDDIE
It wasn’t just his features. It was his bearing, his clothing.

LAWRENCE
What manner did this defendant display on the ID parade?

Pan on rapt attention of the jury. Many are slowly shaking their heads. They have lost all faith in Freddie’s evidence.

GUERLAIN
(to himself, under his breath)
You’re there Lawrence. Know when to stop.

LAWRENCE
What clothing did the assailant wear? Perhaps I can assist you by reminding you what you told the police.
(reading from a printed document)
Pale blue shirt, dark sports jacket, light cavalry twill trousers, black brogues.

FREDDIE
Full brogues.

LAWRENCE
Oh! Full brogues?

FREDDIE
Yes. The toecap is W shaped.

LAWRENCE
(cynically, looking at the jury)
I commend you on your eye for detail.

Lawrence turns and whispers to Worth who is sat behind him. Worth leaves the court.

A gentleman is about to come into court. I want you to say if you recognise him.

The door opens and Charles enters dressed in the clothing Freddie has just described.

Several jurors gasp.

Close up on Charles down to the full brogues.

Freddie’s face registers surprise as he looks from Charles to Johnny and back to Charles.

FLASHBACK TO:
INT. VISTA HOTEL RECEPTION – DAY

From Freddie’s point of view we see the robbery and freeze on the robber’s casual clothing, identical to that now worn by Charles.

FLASHFORWARD TO:
INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Close up on Johnny, in the dock, wearing Charles’ suit.

FLASHBACK TO:
INT. MAJESTIC HOTEL RECEPTION – EVENING

From Freddie’s point of view we see Charles at the reception desk and freeze on his black suit and red tie.

FLASHFORWARD TO:
INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Charles sits in the public gallery. The jurors babble among themselves.

The Judge raises his gavel.

Lawrence indicates Charles and talks above the jury noise.

LAWRENCE
(to Freddie)
That is the gentleman you identified to the police, at the Majestic Hotel, as the man who carried out the robbery at the Vista Hotel? That’s right isn’t it?

FREDDIE
I don’t know.

LAWRENCE
The jury can’t hear you.

Freddie is silent. The jury quietens down.

You don’t know whether the gentleman who’s just come in, or the defendant, committed the robbery, do you?

FREDDIE
It’s a trick.

LAWRENCE
You said you could tell the difference but you can’t say, can you, with any certainty that it was the defendant.

FREDDIE
It must have been him because he’s in the dock. I mean, the police wouldn’t put the wrong man in the dock.

There are cries of outrage from the jury at Freddie’s comment.

JUDGE
Members of the jury I am sending you to your room while I address counsel.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Freddie and the jury are not in court.

JUDGE
(to Lawrence)
There’s no dispute, is there, that Mr. Lockwood was killed during a robbery?

LAWRENCE
Your Honour, that remains a matter, on my instructions, for the Crown to prove.

JUDGE
Mr. Guerlain, do you intend to call evidence, which I have not yet seen, to eliminate the man arrested at the Majestic from suspicion?

GUERLAIN
Your Honour, no. Events have rather taken the Crown by surprise.

JUDGE
Mr. Flame …

Charles stands.

Your involvement in this explains my surprise at first seeing the defendant. Can you tell me how you came to be in possession of those clothes?

CHARLES
With the greatest respect I’m not prepared to disclose that to Your Honour.

JUDGE
Are you related to the defendant?

CHARLES
Your Honour, yes.

JUDGE
Are there any more of you?

CHARLES
(smiling)
Not that I am aware, Your Honour.

JUDGE
I find no humour in this, Mr. Flame. The irresistible inference is that if the defendant did not commit this offence then you did. On the other hand, if you did not, then the irresistible inference is that he did and that you have interfered with the proper administration of justice. I hesitate to say that your conduct amounts to contempt of court but it falls far short, in my opinion, of the standard of conduct expected from a member of the Bar. You will be reported to the Bar Council and it is my fervent wish that your career at the Bar is at an end.

LAWRENCE
May I be permitted to explain, Your Honour.

JUDGE
Mr. Antaeus, I do not approve of what you have done but I do not see that I can censure your conduct. You acted upon your instructions. Mr. Flame, on the other hand, knows the truth of this matter and as much as it was his prerogative not to disclose it, he has gone too far in contriving to ensure that the perpetrator escapes justice.

CHARLES
May I address Your Honour?

JUDGE
You may not. Leave my court.

Charles leaves with a slight flicker of emotion.

Mr. Guerlain, I have no alternative than to direct an acquittal, do I? There simply is no reliable identification of the perpetrator, is there? A member of the Bar has prevented a murderer from being brought to justice.

Guerlain, his lip trembling and distressed at what the Judge has said to, and about, Charles, stands up, folds his arms and sits down again.

INT. ROBING ROOM – DAY

The robing room has a line of lockers down the middle. It is empty except for Charles sitting out of sight in an old leather armchair. Lawrence and Guerlain come in. They start to disrobe.

GUERLAIN
You had enough without Charles. What on earth were you thinking of?

LAWRENCE
It was his choice.

GUERLAIN
No. It was his brother and you knew damn well his judgment was clouded.

LAWRENCE
You want to know the truth, old boy, because there’s nothing you can do about it? With Charles out of the way I’ll be Head of Chambers when the old man goes.

GUERLAIN
I always knew there was something rotten about you.

Lawrence smiles.

You despicable bastard.

LAWRENCE
And do you think virginal Vicky will still want him when he’s finished?

Guerlain grabs Lawrence by the lapels, lifts him off his feet and slams him up against a locker. Then he lets him go.

GUERLAIN
(restrained)
If you think I’ll keep this to myself, you’re wholly wrong.

Guerlain walks out. Lawrence smiles and shrugs his shoulders after him. He turns to see Charles standing behind him.

LAWRENCE
Heard it all did you, old boy. Too bad.

Lawrence picks up his rolled up gown and advances towards Charles who steps back against the wall.

Lawrence pushes his gown over Charles’ mouth suffocating him. Everything goes black.

INT. CHARLES’ BEDROOM – NIGHT

Charles and Vicky are in bed. Vicky is wakened by Charles’ struggle with the duvet, which is pulled tightly over his mouth.

CHARLES
(through the duvet)
She’ll never be yours.

Vicky pulls away the duvet. Charles wakes and gasps in air. He becomes aware of his surroundings but has not forgotten his dream.

VICKY
(softly)
Charles, Charles, no one else has or ever will have me. I belong to you.

Camera pulls back as she holds him in the dark.

EXT. COURT CAR PARK – DAY

The real day of the trial. Charles, Johnny and Lawrence are talking. Johnny is wearing the dark blue pinstripe suit Charles bought and a blue tie.

LAWRENCE
(to Charles)
It’s out of the question, old boy. You don’t come anywhere near this trial. Now get out of here before any juror sees you. You look tired. Restless nights, I shouldn’t wonder.

CHARLES
Call me. Good luck.

JOHNNY
Thanks. Now get out of here.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Pan across jurors. Mostly middle aged WASPS with hard faces, one old dear, a young Asian guy and a casual young couple who have latched on to each other.

Throughout the trial, Worth sits behind Lawrence. They confer occasionally.

Freddie is being cross-examined.

LAWRENCE
You had a good look at the man who attacked and robbed Mr. Lockwood?

FREDDIE
Yes I did.

LAWRENCE
And you picked him out on the ID parade?

FREDDIE
Yes.

LAWRENCE
Does he stand in the dock now?

All the jurors concentrate on Freddie’s reply.

FREDDIE
(surprised at the question)
Yes.

Jurors exchange puzzled glances at the apparently obvious.

LAWRENCE
Did you come to know his name as Charles Flame?

JUDGE
What?

LAWRENCE
Charles Flame.

Recognising the name, the Judge, who was writing down Freddie’s evidence, looks sharply at Lawrence and takes a closer look at Johnny.

Recognition dawns then the Judge resumes a neutral expression.

FREDDIE
No. That was a mistake. After the incident I moved to the Majestic Hotel. That’s where I saw Mr. Flame in reception. At first I thought he was the attacker, but he wasn’t.

LAWRENCE
Perhaps you can explain to the jury how it was that you identified Charles Flame later that day, to the police, in his hotel room, as the attacker, because you did, didn’t you?

FREDDIE
Yes, I did, but as I said, I was wrong.

LAWRENCE
Yes, you were wrong on two occasions when you identified him as the attacker, weren’t you?

FREDDIE
I was.

Lawrence waits for more. The jurors look from Freddie to Lawrence and back again, which makes Freddie shift uncomfortably.

But it had all been sorted out by the time of the ID parade.

The younger jurors furrow their brows.

LAWRENCE
What caused you not to pick out Charles Flame on the ID parade?

FREDDIE
I don’t understand the question. He wasn’t on the ID parade.

LAWRENCE
(aggressively)
Did you walk up and down the line and notice that he wasn’t there, or did someone tell you beforehand that he wouldn’t be there?

FREDDIE
Sergeant Richards told me he wouldn’t be there.

LAWRENCE
Did the good sergeant accommodate you with a reason?

FREDDIE
He said Mr. Flame had an alibi.

LAWRENCE
And this defendant, does he look anything at all like Mr. Flame?

FREDDIE
Like I remarked to Mr. Flame himself, they’re identical. Like twins.

LAWRENCE
You couldn’t tell the difference between them?

FREDDIE
No, I couldn’t.

LAWRENCE
Then how do you know it was this defendant who attacked Mr. Lockwood?

FREDDIE
It had to be him or Mr. Flame, and it wasn’t Mr. Flame. I’ve told you. Mr. Flame had an alibi.

The older members of the jury look entirely satisfied. The young couple look at each other with raised eyebrows. The old dear concentrates.

LAWRENCE
If the police hadn’t told you that Charles Flame had an alibi, you wouldn’t have known that, would you?

FREDDIE
(concentrating)
No.

JUDGE
Do you mean yes, that you would not have known?

FREDDIE
Yes.

JUDGE
(slowly repeating the words he is writing down)
If the police had not told me that Charles Flame had an alibi, I would not have known that.

INT. CHAMBERS – DAY

Charles is sat in concentration.

CHARLES
Damn.

He picks up the telephone and dials. It is answered promptly.

Vicky? Darling, get straight to court and tell Lawrence that the March girl met me when the photofit was compiled at the police station before she identified Johnny on the ID parade. Her ID of Johnny is tainted and unreliable. She picked him out because he resembles me, not because she recognised him from the Vista Hotel as the man who attacked Richard Lockwood. She must be cross-examined on it.

EXT. DRIVEWAY – DAY

Vicky, wearing a smart two-piece, jumps into her red Lancia and sprays gravel.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Miss March is in the witness box.

GUERLAIN
What was your relationship to Richard Lockwood?

MISS MARCH
(inhaling)
I was his business associate.

The young lady juror raises her eyebrows and whispers indistinctly to the young man with her who smiles at her comment.

EXT. STREET – DAY

Vicky is driving determinedly through peak traffic.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

GUERLAIN
Can you describe the briefcase?

MISS MARCH
It was quite distinctive, monogrammed.

INT. SECRET HIDING PLACE – DAY

We see the dark green leather briefcase with heavy brass locks and the letters R.L. embossed in gold.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

MISS MARCH
Dark green leather with heavy brass locks. The letters R.L.

GUERLAIN
Have you seen it since that day?

MISS MARCH
No, I haven’t.

GUERLAIN
Thank you. If you wait there, Miss March, there may be some more questions for you.

Lawrence rises to his feet.

EXT. COURT CAR PARK – DAY

Vicky swings into the car park at alarming speed, damaging a wing on a stone gatepost. She grits her teeth and speeds on.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

LAWRENCE
Do you know a man called Charles Flame?

MISS MARCH
No.

LAWRENCE
Have you ever heard the name?

MISS MARCH
(thinking for a moment)
No, I haven’t.

LAWRENCE
Thank you.
(to the Judge)
Your Honour, I have no other questions for this witness.

He sits. The Judge looks at him as though expecting more.

JUDGE
You are released, Miss March. Thank you.

She gives Johnny a long, hard look, which all the jurors follow then she walks out impassively. Guerlain watches her leave then addresses the judge.

GUERLAIN
With Your Honour’s leave, I call Detective Sergeant Richards.

Richards, who has been sitting in court, enters the witness box and picks up the Bible. Vicky, passing Miss March, rushes into court too late to pass on Charles’ message and slumps dejectedly into a public seat.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Richards is in the witness box. Lawrence is on his feet.

LAWRENCE
Why did you tell Freddie Johnson that the man he pointed out to you in the Majestic Hotel, Charles Flame, was not on the ID parade?

Richards looks momentarily embarrassed.

RICHARDS
I didn’t.

LAWRENCE
That’s simply not true, is it? Would you like some time to think about it?

RICHARDS
No.

Lawrence stares at Richards until the latter begins to shift uncomfortably.

JUDGE
Mr. Richards, I don’t follow your answer. Are you saying, no, it’s not true, or no, you don’t need any time to think about it?

RICHARDS
(smugly)
I’m sorry, Your Honour. I’m confused now, Counsel didn’t allow me time to answer his first question.

JUDGE
(benignly)
Alright. We don’t want you confused, officer. Let’s take it one step at a time.

Lawrence suppresses a smile.

Is it true that you told Freddie Johnson that Charles Flame was not on the ID parade?

Richards looks at the Judge as though he is trying to assess the consequences of his reply.

Well?

RICHARDS
No, I categorically did not.

JUDGE
So you don’t need any time to think about it after all. Move on, Mr. Antaeus.

LAWRENCE
Why wasn’t Charles Flame put on an ID parade?

RICHARDS
Because he wasn’t a suspect.

LAWRENCE
Had he been eliminated from the enquiry?

RICHARDS
Yes.

LAWRENCE
On what evidence?

RICHARDS
He’s one of your lot sir. He signed a statement saying …

LAWRENCE
(cutting in)
Whatever his statement says, was anything in it corroborated by police investigation?

RICHARDS
I believe it was, sir.

LAWRENCE
Do you know that it was?

RICHARDS
Not personally.

LAWRENCE
Charles Flame gave an alibi didn’t he?

RICHARDS
(looking at the Judge)
Yes, Your Honour.

LAWRENCE
Saying he was somewhere else at the time of the attack?

The older jurors look at Lawrence as though he’s wasting his time and a few shake their heads.

RICHARDS
Yes.

LAWRENCE
To your knowledge, did any police officer ever speak to any person who was where Flame said he was at the time this offence occurred?

RICHARDS
They must have done.

LAWRENCE
To your knowledge, did they?

Now all eyes are on Richards.

RICHARDS
I don’t know.

LAWRENCE
To your knowledge, the answer is either yes or no. Which is it?

RICHARDS
(angrily)
To my knowledge, no.

LAWRENCE
In your professional opinion, is there any physical resemblance between John Hughes and Charles Flame?

RICHARDS
You want me to say they’re identical.

LAWRENCE
(with deliberation)
Officer, if you can, I want you to try very hard to tell the truth.

The young Asian juror is clearly enjoying Richards’ discomfort.

RICHARDS
Your Honour, I protest. I always tell the truth.

JUDGE
I will control Counsel if either of them goes too far. The jury, after I have directed it, will judge whether or not the evidence of any witness is true.

A few of the older jurors begin to look unsettled at Richards’ performance.

LAWRENCE
Is there any physical resemblance between John Hughes and Charles Flame?

RICHARDS
(glaring)
Yes, they look identical.

LAWRENCE
So if Charles Flame had been on the ID parade, it can reasonably be inferred, can it not, that any observer would not have been able to tell the difference between him and John Hughes?

RICHARDS
Make your point, sir.

JUDGE
Comments of that nature are usually left to me, Mr. Richards.

LAWRENCE
If John Hughes and Charles Flame had both been on the ID parade, common sense dictates that Freddie Johnson would not have known one from the other.

RICHARDS
Matter of opinion, sir.

LAWRENCE
And if only Charles Flame had been on the parade, Freddie Johnson would have picked him out?

RICHARDS
Matter of opinion.

JUDGE
Yes. What is your opinion, sergeant? As an expert on identification parades, which I take you to be, unless you’re going to tell us that you’re not.

LAWRENCE
The reason they both weren’t on the parade is because you believed Freddie Johnson would say ‘I don’t know’ isn’t it?

Every juror is rapt.

RICHARDS
No.

LAWRENCE
And you could be certain that he would not hesitate in indecision when he saw John Hughes because you had already told him that whomever he saw on the parade, it wasn’t Charles Flame. That’s right isn’t it?

RICHARDS
It’s right I didn’t put Charles Flame on the parade.

LAWRENCE
You mean you couldn’t risk putting Charles Flame on the parade.

The Judge sees that the jury is with Lawrence.

JUDGE
Mr. Antaeus, you may have taken this point as far as you can. This witness said they were identical. Freddie Johnson said he couldn’t tell the difference between them. It may be a matter for me, might it not?

LAWRENCE
I am grateful, Your Honour. I have one more question for this witness. Mr. Richards, how can the police be sure that the right man is on trial?

RICHARDS
The jury will hear other evidence that I’ve no doubt will convince them as it’s convinced me.

LAWRENCE
(dryly)
Matter of opinion, Mr. Richards.

Lawrence sits down dismissively.

JUDGE
Any re-examination, Mr. Guerlain?

Guerlain shakes his head and does not rise.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Time passes. Montage of faces in court.

Close up on Wilson and Peters giving evidence in turn without sound.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Portman is in the witness box. Guerlain is on his feet.

GUERLAIN
What are your qualifications, Mr. Portman?

PORTMAN
I’m a Home Office pathologist. Have been for seven years. I’m a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. Do you want all the qualifications I’ve accumulated over the years?

Guerlain looks at Lawrence who shakes his head.

GUERLAIN
You performed a post mortem on a man called Richard Lockwood …

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Later. Portman is still giving evidence.

PORTMAN
Death would have occurred within three minutes.

GUERLAIN
What caused Richard Lockwood’s death?

PORTMAN
(shaking his head sympathetically)
Massive brain haemorrhage. Massive. Without virtually instantaneous medical assistance, there was no hope of survival.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Lawrence is cross-examining Portman.

LAWRENCE
(tentatively)
Was the likelihood of haemorrhage a condition that had existed within Mr. Lockwood for any degree of time?

PORTMAN
Yes, it was.

LAWRENCE
(fishing)
Was it a time bomb that could have gone off at any time?

PORTMAN
Yes.

LAWRENCE
How long had the condition existed?

PORTMAN
It was a congenital condition that had never been diagnosed.

LAWRENCE
Then it could have happened just as suddenly and with just as devastating consequences two seconds earlier that fateful morning?

PORTMAN
Yes, at any time.

LAWRENCE
So a punch would not have precipitated it?

PORTMAN
On the contrary. A punch of sufficient force would have precipitated it.

Lawrence looks uncertain.

As indeed a fall or a blow to the head could. A heavy blow of any type almost certainly would have done.

Lawrence looks momentarily dismayed and recovers his composure. The jury notices.

LAWRENCE
What would be the degree of certainty?

PORTMAN
I’m not with you.

LAWRENCE
That any particular type of blow did or did not cause the haemorrhage to happen when it did?

PORTMAN
There would be a high degree of certainty because it would be possible, in autopsy, to determine the extent to which the area of haemorrhage was causally related to local haematoma …
(to the jury)
… bruising, caused by a forceful impact.

Vicky, sitting in court, pained, closes her eyes.

LAWRENCE
You cannot be certain in this case that a blow resulting from a punch caused the haemorrhage? Your report …
(holding up a document)
… doesn’t suggest that.

The jury waits.

PORTMAN
May I take this in two stages? Firstly, I believe that I can be certain when a particular blow causes a haemorrhage. Secondly, I was speaking hypothetically. There is no evidence of haematoma. That’s why there’s no reference to it in my report. If the subject did suffer a blow, then it was a blow of insufficient force to cause bruising and I would not causally link such a blow to the haemorrhage in this case.

LAWRENCE
Given that absence of haematoma, can you also say with any degree of certainty that Mr. Lockwood’s haemorrhage was not caused by a fall resulting from a violent push?

PORTMAN
Yes. I can. I’d go further and say it definitely was not.

Lawrence now closes his eyes in relief and takes a deep breath. The old lady, the Asian guy and the couple on the jury nod and look at Johnny encouragingly.

INT. CPS ROOM – DAY

Guerlain is talking to Richards who is unhappy.

GUERLAIN
On our own evidence, Hughes didn’t cause Lockwood’s death. End of story as far as murder and manslaughter are concerned.

RICHARDS
I’d still like to see that bastard go down.

GUERLAIN
You win some, you lose some. He’s not off the hook on robbery.

RICHARDS
(sarcastically)
Your learned friend made Freddie Johnson look pretty stupid. We fucked up with no evidence to eliminate your other colleague, Charles Flame.

GUERLAIN
We?

He looks disparagingly at Richards.

RICHARDS
(begrudgingly)
The police, sir.

GUERLAIN
We can eliminate Charles Flame, and all the doubt over identification, by reading the statement he gave to Sergeant Wilson, as Crown evidence.

RICHARDS
Then I’ve got the bastard.

GUERLAIN
It’s only a job, Sergeant. For what it’s worth, you’ve done enough to see Hughes go down for robbery.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

The witness box is empty. Guerlain is on his feet.

GUERLAIN
Your Honour, I propose to read the statement of Charles Flame to …

LAWRENCE
(cutting in)
Your Honour, that statement has not been served as evidence on the defence and I object to its use.

The jurors mutter among themselves. Guerlain turns to the Crown Prosecution Service lawyer sat behind him then back to the Judge.

GUERLAIN
Your Honour, my learned friend may have forgotten that I discussed the contents of this statement with him before the trial.

JUDGE
Do you have it, Mr. Antaeus?

LAWRENCE
(casually)
Indeed I do, Your Honour. It was served as unused material many weeks ago. It was never served as evidence.

JUDGE
If that’s right, Mr. Guerlain, you can’t use it. I think someone behind you wants to speak to you.

GUERLAIN
If Your Honour would give me a moment.

He turns and speaks inaudibly to the CPS LAWYER who shakes his head. He turns back to the Judge.

Your Honour, I request an adjournment so that Charles Flame can be brought to court to give live evidence.

JUDGE
Do you know where he is?

GUERLAIN
Your Honour, I do not. If his whereabouts cannot be ascertained within a short period of time I may have to abandon his evidence.

JUDGE
You don’t even know that he’d come to court. It seems implicit from the evidence thus far that he might be unwilling to do so.

GUERLAIN
Your Honour can make an order compelling a witness to attend.

JUDGE
(with exasperation)
I don’t treat him as a witness. His name’s not on the list of witnesses, his statement has not been served and he’s not been warned to come to court. No. I’m not going to make an order and I’m not going to adjourn the matter. To do otherwise would not be fair to this defendant.

GUERLAIN
May I argue the point, Your Honour?

JUDGE
(clearly irked)
I thought you just had. Do you dispute anything I’ve just said?

GUERLAIN
Your Honour, no.

JUDGE
Do you dispute what Mr. Antaeus said, that Flame’s statement was never served as evidence?

GUERLAIN
I do not dispute that, Your Honour.

JUDGE
It seems to me that you call a witness, close your case or ask for an adjournment. What is the point you wish to argue, that I should allow an adjournment, because I won’t unless you have a compelling argument? If all you can come up with is that the officer in the case or some unidentifiable CPS clerk has made an administrative error, you won’t succeed.

GUERLAIN
So be it, Your Honour. That is the case for the Crown.

JUDGE
I’m sorry to put it so bluntly, Mr. Guerlain. I attribute no fault to you but Counsel is in the front line, as you know.

The jury is surprised at this abrupt ending and a murmur of dissatisfaction runs through.

Mr. Antaeus?

LAWRENCE
(rising)
Your Honour, a question of law arises.

JUDGE
(slowly and deliberately)
I rather thought it might. Members of the jury. As I told you at the beginning of this trial, matters of fact are for you and matters of law are for me. Interesting though the latter may be to you, it has become the practice to exclude the jury from legal argument because it may include argument on matters which are not before you in evidence. It would not be fair to you to ask you to try and exclude such matters from your mind when you come to consider the evidence.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Both Lawrence and Guerlain are on their feet. The jury is out of court.

JUDGE
On the evidence of Mr. Portman it’s abundantly clear there is no evidence of unlawful killing and I propose to direct the jury to return a verdict of not guilty on the count of murder and also on the alternative count of manslaughter. What do you say about the remaining count of robbery Mr. Antaeus?

LAWRENCE
Your Honour, in my submission, that count too, must fall because there is no reliable evidence of identification.

JUDGE
If you were right on that then all counts would fall but I think you can see the reasoning behind disposing of the first two counts in the way I suggest.

LAWRENCE
Your Honour, yes. It’s right that there should be no doubt in the public mind that Richard Lockwood’s death was not an unlawful killing and it is for that reason, and not for lack of identification evidence, that my client is acquitted of those matters.

JUDGE
Very well. Why do you say the identification evidence is unreliable in relation to the robbery?

LAWRENCE
Your Honour, Freddie Johnson’s own evidence is that he was wrong when he twice identified Charles Flame. A jury that cannot see for itself the extent of the alleged similarity between Flame and the defendant cannot properly test the quality of his identification of the defendant. In any event, Charles Flame was never eliminated from the enquiry. The jury cannot be certain the right man is in the dock.

Vicky sighs with relief.

GUERLAIN
My learned friend overlooks the evidence of Miss March.

Vicky looks self-conscious.

The only time she saw the defendant after the robbery was on the ID parade. Her proper identification of this defendant is supported by the travel brochures found by the officers during the search of the defendant’s bedsit.

JUDGE
Isn’t that your difficulty, Mr. Antaeus? Her identification of the defendant was not challenged. Her evidence, in response to your cross-examination, was that she had neither seen nor heard of Mr. Flame and consequently there can be no suggestion that her evidence is tainted in the way that you seek to argue that Freddie Johnson’s is.

Lawrence thinks hard. He turns to look at Johnny to give himself more time. Vicky looks horrified.

I make no ruling now. Think about it over the weekend. I’ll release the jury until eleven o’clock on Monday morning.

LAWRENCE
Bail as before, Your Honour?

JUDGE
Very well.

INT. CPS ROOM – DAY

In the background, Peters is talking to the CPS lawyer. Richards faces Guerlain.

RICHARDS
I wasn’t very impressed with your performance in court, sir.

Peters and the lawyer stop talking.

GUERLAIN
I didn’t have you down as being competent to judge. I wasn’t very impressed with your lies on oath, nor, I suspect, was the jury.

RICHARDS
That’s a serious allegation in front of witnesses and you may wish to retract it sir.

Guerlain shakes his head and starts to laugh. Still laughing, he walks out of the room. Richards looks quizzically at the others who look away.

INT. JENNY’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Jenny and Vicky are having coffee.

JENNY
I don’t know whether he took the boys to the park or they took him. I’ve never seen any of them happier.

VICKY
If it were Charles he’d be up a tree by now. Higher than the boys.

JENNY
God, Vicky, I hope they don’t find Johnny guilty of robbery. Mr. Antaeus was still concerned.

VICKY
Charles said the judge is playing games. He wouldn’t have allowed bail if the trial was going to go on beyond Monday.

JENNY
Johnny was talking about some evidence not being challenged, which goes against him.

VICKY
(inhaling)
Jenny, Charles said the judge would direct the jury to acquit Johnny after Lawrence makes the legal submissions that Charles is discussing with him now.

JENNY
Then how is the judge playing games?

VICKY
Let me ask you a question. Do you believe Johnny did commit this robbery?

JENNY
Vicky!

VICKY
Do you believe that Charles did it?

JENNY
No!

VICKY
Anyone watching the trial, and that includes the judge, and you and me if we stop to think about it, must believe that if Johnny didn’t do it then Charles did, or vice versa.

JENNY
Oh my God. I hadn’t thought about it like that. That there’s no one else involved.

VICKY
In law it can’t be proved that either of them did it. Perhaps in reality it can’t be proved which one of them did it.

JENNY
I don’t know what the truth is but I don’t believe that either of them committed a robbery.

VICKY
Jenny, they were both in the services. There’s far more to this than meets the eye.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Lawrence is on his feet.

LAWRENCE
Your Honour, I reiterate my submission that there is no case for the defendant, John Hughes, to answer.

JUDGE
Go on.

LAWRENCE
Your Honour, the jury has been told that Charles Flame was initially identified and arrested and that he made a statement to the police …

JUDGE
(cutting in)
Which if accepted by the defence and read to the jury would put your client, John Hughes, firmly in the picture, because it would eliminate Flame.

LAWRENCE
Save for this, Your Honour; the police eliminated Flame from the enquiry because he claimed an alibi but to the knowledge of Sergeant Richards that alibi has not been checked. The jury is left with Flame being the first suspect positively identified by Freddie Johnson and not eliminated.

JUDGE
Yes.

LAWRENCE
Your Honour reminded me that the identification of this defendant by Miss March was not challenged. There’s no evidence before the jury that she ever saw Charles Flame but, given the evidence of Freddie Johnson, that Flame and Hughes were like twins and DS Richards’ evidence that they were identical, a reasonable inference can properly be drawn, from the prosecution evidence, that she too would have been unable to distinguish between them. Does Your Honour accept that?

JUDGE
Whether or not such an inference can be reasonably drawn from the evidence is a matter of fact for the jury to decide, not me. I’m sorry, Mr. Antaeus. I don’t need to hear from you, Mr. Guerlain. I reject the submission that there is no case to answer on the count of robbery. I will, of course, direct the jury that there is no case to answer on each of the first two counts. Bring in the jury.

Johnny is devastated. Vicky’s expression is stoic. Richards gloats. The Judge frowns at him. The jurors file in and take their seats.

The Judge looks preoccupied. Vicky leaves quietly.

INT. CORRIDOR – DAY

Vicky makes a call with her mobile telephone.

VICKY
(with moist eyes)
Charles? Darling, I’m sorry … The judge said there is a case to answer.
(biting her lip)
It’s my fault, isn’t it? He’ll be convicted now, won’t he? I’m so sorry.

CHARLES
(on the telephone)
Don’t worry darling. Everything’s going to be alright.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

JUDGE
(reading from his notes)
Members of the jury …

One of the older jurors, the JURY FOREMAN, stands up and, holding up a piece of paper, coughs.

LAWRENCE
(cutting in)
Your Honour, I believe there is a note from the jury.

The note is passed to the judge who reads it, barely smiles and shakes his head almost imperceptibly.

JUDGE
Members of the jury, I’m going to ask you to go back to your room while learned counsel and I consider your note.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

Vicky is sitting in court.

The Judge reads the jury note slowly while Guerlain and Lawrence write down what he says.

JUDGE
(reading the jury note)
One, if we decided from common sense that Miss March would not have been able to tell the difference between the defendant and Mr. Charles Flame and two, if the said Mr. Flame has not been eliminated by the police, how can we say the defendant is guilty? Even with what the police found at the defendant’s place, how can we be sure that Mr. Flame didn’t do the crimes. Three, if we think one of the prosecution witnesses is lying, should we acquit the defendant?
(to Lawrence)
You underestimated your jury, Mr. Antaeus. As a matter of law, I will, in any event, direct an acquittal on the first two counts.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

The Judge is addressing the jury.

JUDGE
You have acquitted the defendant of the first two counts against him on my direction. At this point, it is appropriate that I deal with questions one and two of your note, which are relevant now only to the sole remaining charge of robbery. Counsel and I have agreed how I should deal with that. At the end of the whole of the evidence, I will direct you on the way in which you deal with the evidence of witnesses whom you do not believe.

A few of the jurors look critically at Richards.

However, before I deal with your first two questions, I take the view that the circumstances of this case demand that I read to you slowly this direction which has been agreed with learned counsel.
(looking down at his notes)
You, the jury, has the right to acquit the accused at any time after the close of the prosecution case, upon one or more or all of the counts on the indictment, but you must wait until the whole case is over before you can convict.

Vicky gazes despondently at the jury.

The specific answers to your first two questions are a little more complex …

The Jury Foreman who handed up the note stands.

JURY FOREMAN
(cutting in)
We have a verdict.

INT. CROWN COURT – DAY

COURT CLERK
Do you find the defendant, Johnny Hughes, guilty or not guilty of robbery?

JURY FOREMAN
Not guilty.

Close up on Johnny’s face. Sheer relief. Vicky, tearful, runs to hug him. Richards looks maniacal.

INT. POLICE STATION – NIGHT

Richards is sitting at a desk fuming. Wilson is at another desk and Peters is looking in a filing cabinet. Richards breaks a pencil.

WILSON
Criminal damage.

Richards throws the broken bits of pencil at him.

PETERS
(to Wilson)
What do you think, sir?

RICHARDS
I’ll tell you what I think. I think it was him, Flame. I know it was him. The question is, how do I prove it?

PETERS
Then why prosecute …

WILSON
(cutting in) (silencing Peters with a look)
Perhaps it was neither of them.

INT. CHARLES’ HOUSE – NIGHT

A celebration party is in full swing. Sarah is sharing an anecdote with an elderly gentleman who is clearly SIR GEOFFREY. Charles is talking to Vicky and Jenny. All the children are abusing the punchbowl. Lawrence and Guerlain are talking quietly together.

LAWRENCE
You knew they hadn’t served Charles’ statement formally, didn’t you? And you knew I’d stop you putting it in.

Guerlain smiles enigmatically.

Charles excuses himself from Vicky and Jenny as Johnny approaches and leads him away with a smile.

CHARLES
There’s something you have a right to see.

INT. CHARLES’ STUDY – NIGHT

Charles swings open a portion of bookcase to reveal the secret hiding place behind it. He unlocks and swings open a steel door to reveal the briefcase.

JOHNNY
It had to be somewhere. The question is, why?

INT. POLICE STATION – NIGHT

RICHARDS
All I need is just one honest barrister to say that Flame was not at that damn dinner; that he would have seen him if he had been.

PETERS
A question of memory rather than honesty, sir.

Richards glares at him.

What if Johnny Hughes goes into the witness box and admits he did steal the briefcase? I’m not sure that would amount to evidence on which he could be retried.

RICHARDS
Haven’t you heard of perjury?

PETERS
Sir, he didn’t say a word in court. He never gave evidence.

RICHARDS
Juries aren’t that stupid. One of them did it. If Flame wasn’t at the dinner then he’s the man and if Hughes says otherwise then he’s lying.

WILSON
Mind you, if I were Johnny Hughes, I’d be pretty pissed at spending time in prison on remand for something I hadn’t done.

RICHARDS
I wouldn’t say I’d done it just to protect the bastard who put me there. It’s no thanks to Flame that Hughes didn’t stay there and rot.

WILSON
Flame doesn’t need Hughes. He can use the same defence as Hughes without saying a word. His lawyer will just argue that another man whose alibi wasn’t checked by the police was identified.

RICHARDS
And whose fault was that?

WILSON
You need the briefcase.

PETERS
But we don’t know where it is, sir.

RICHARDS
If Flame’s the man, he still has it. Wait here. I’ll get a search warrant and nail the bastard before the sun comes up.

He makes for the door.

INT. CHARLES’ HOUSE – NIGHT

Charles and Johnny are sitting in leather armchairs in the study. The briefcase is on the table between them.

CHARLES
Lockwood and I were in the organisation together. The diamonds were a corrupt payment from a certain cartel who wanted to be left alone. It was Lockwood’s last run to collect and deliver them. He was being set up and didn’t know whom he could trust on the inside so he came to me.

JOHNNY
Why not go to another agency, one he could trust?

CHARLES
No time. They knew he was on to them. They were listening, but they didn’t know we knew that. So we gave them one plan and carried out another. Different hotel, different date.

JOHNNY
What about the March girl?

CHARLES
Totally innocent. Lockwood’s death was unforeseen, a random factor.

JOHNNY
Freddie’s presence wasn’t a random factor and you shouldn’t have walked into the Majestic without intel on it.

CHARLES
Nor was yours in hindsight. You were assessed as high improbability. You could have been anywhere in the world, or dead, or not look like me. But you’re right. You wouldn’t have been arrested if I hadn’t walked into the Majestic.

JOHNNY
Or faced the risk of conviction for something I didn’t do, but on the other hand, if you hadn’t walked into the Majestic, I’d almost certainly be in prison now.

CHARLES
(with irony)
If I just say you would never have faced the risk of conviction, can we leave it at that?

JOHNNY
I know when not to ask questions and when not to answer them. How about I say it was worth it, everything considered? What are you going to do with the briefcase?

CHARLES
It’s midnight. That can wait until morning. What were you up to pretending to be on Skid Row?

JOHNNY
(smiling)
Like I say, I know when not to answer questions. And you’re right, I would never have been convicted. Now, what about the organisation? Their diamonds?

CHARLES
The cartel and the organisation have been terminated. The diamonds have a rightful owner.

JOHNNY
Don’t tell me.

INT. POLICE STATION – NIGHT

Richards, clutching a search warrant, bursts in on Wilson and Peters.

RICHARDS
I’ve got it. Come on.

WILSON
It’s three in the morning. It won’t be going anywhere. You want another Disciplinary?

RICHARDS
The warrant’s in your name. Come on!

EXT. POLICE STATION – NIGHT

Richards, Wilson and Peters burst out of the front door and make towards an unmarked police car and race off with a squeal of tyres.

In a dark car parked in shadow, the watching Jury Foreman picks up a mobile telephone.

INT. VIRGIN ATLANTIC HEATHROW CHECK IN – NIGHT

CHECK IN GIRL’S point of view and close up on a passport photo. She inspects the boarding pass and passport of a dignified, bearded gentleman.

Pan to her smiling face.

CHECK IN GIRL
I see your final destination is Dragon Island, Mr. …
(she checks his name again from his passport)
… Lucian. It’s very beautiful.

As the bearded gentleman lifts his briefcase, with the initials R.L. onto the counter, we recognise Lockwood.

LOCKWOOD
Yes, a good place to retire. That’s why I bought it.

CHECK IN GIRL
You might get lonely.

LOCKWOOD
Come with me.

She smiles. She looks all around her assessing her situation. She just might.

FADE OUT.

THE END

UNUSED DRAFT MATERIAL

THE SARAH CAMPBELL CHRONICLES

FADE IN:

INT. SARAH’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Jenny, Vicky and Charles are listening to Sarah.

SARAH
I was only sixteen. There was still a lot of hardship. I’ll tell you as I remember and as it was told to me. My father was a good man.

RIPPLE TO:

INT. TOM’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Sarah Campbell is sixteen. She is crying and being comforted by her mother, CATHERINE CAMPBELL.

Her father, TOM CAMPBELL, is sitting at the table with his head between his hands.

The calendar on the wall behind him shows that it is December 1964. He looks up.

TOM
I never thought any daughter of mine would be a whore. I’ve a mind to beat the child out of you. You’ve shamed this house.

He rises and begins to unbuckle his belt.

CATHERINE
Father, no! Don’t you lay a finger on this child or I swear by God I’ll do ten times worse to you.

Sarah huddles into her mother’s apron.

CATHERINE
We will talk about this. No child is conceived without God’s will.

TOM
Don’t lay this bastard at God’s door, woman.

CATHERINE
And you dare to talk of the child shaming this house. You’d better go out, Tom. Go and do the things it’s alright for a man to do. Go and get drunk, like you do.

TOM
Woman …

CATHERINE
Will you not woman me. And didn’t we have to get married because you made me pregnant by force and I stood by you and kept my mouth shut when I could have had you in the prison.

Sarah’s face registers shock.

TOM
Tell the girl everything why don’t you? You were more willing than you’re prepared to admit.

CATHERINE
How dare you.

TOM
I didn’t run away. I married you and gave my name to the girl.

CATHERINE
And you’re blaming her now because he’s run away?

TOM
No. I’m blaming her for what she’s done.

CATHERINE
Is that worse then, than what you did to me sixteen years ago?

TOM
I’m not staying in this house to argue with you, Kate.

CATHERINE
Then go, Mr. Campbell.

Tom looks at Catherine. He stands and snatches his coat from behind the door. He leaves the house.

A flurry of snow blows in through the door before he slams it shut behind him.

Catherine comforts the terrified Sarah.

CATHERINE
There, there, Sarah child. Don’t fret. God’s in His Heaven. Your father doesn’t mean his words. It’s not his fault he has few others. He loves you and he’d die before he’d let harm come to you. He’s angry because he’s hurt inside and because his life is harder than a good man’s life should be.

INT. CAPTAIN’S CABIN – DAY

The CAPTAIN is seated at his desk. BILLY stands to attention before him.

CAPTAIN
Billy, ah and it’s not my business to be prying into the private lives of the men on my ship. God only knows, too many boats these days are crewed by men running away from the one thing or the other.

Billy shifts uncomfortably. The Captain gestures with his hand.

Is it uncomfortable you are lad? Be at your ease and sit down. Are you after wanting to tell me what manner of thing it is that a mere lad like you is running from? There’s no one here. You can speak plain or tell me to go to hell if you like.

BILLY
Sir. I’ve been happy on board.

CAPTAIN
Been happy, is it?

BILLY
I’ve no complaint at all, sir.

Billy stands silently for a few seconds.

CAPTAIN
(gazing beyond Billy)
I had a son once. If he had lived, he would have been your age. Many’s the time I talk to him and I fancy he answers me. I’m sure he does because there’s comfort in what he tells me.

The Captain picks up his pipe and tamps down the tobacco already in it with his thumb.

Sit yourself down, Billy.

Billy sits.

There are times I fancy he’ll ask me a question or two and I tell him the things every father wants to tell his son. Am I a fool, Billy?

BILLY
No sir. My father is dead. We talk.

CAPTAIN
And wouldn’t it be better for you if he were here for you to talk to?

BILLY
Yes sir, it would be.

CAPTAIN
It would be better for me if my son were here for me to talk to, to teach him all those special things that can only be passed from father to son. Do you agree with that, man to man?

BILLY
Captain, why am I here?

CAPTAIN
Sailor, I can tell you why you’re in my cabin but only you know why you’re on my ship. I’ve answered your question. Will you answer mine?

BILLY
I would say that you’re right, sir. Why am I here, sir?

CAPTAIN
Because you’re running away from something, son, and you’re too young to be running away from anything. Because I’m a maudlin old man with regrets and because I can see you, one day, where I am now and you can be a lot happier than that.

He lights his pipe and draws deeply.

If you can’t tell me Billy, then leave me now with my thoughts. I’ll not mention the matter again.

Billy stands and turns to leave then hesitates and looks back at the Captain.

(looking up)
I thought I could help, lad, that’s all.

Billy sits down again. The Captain looks into his pipe then up at Billy.

BILLY
(blurting out his words)
Sir, it’s never been easy for me to talk to anyone. I was young when my father died. I had to do everything until my mother could cope again. Then she died and I was on my own with nothing. I met a girl who was everything to me that no one else had ever been. Then I did something and was scared of the consequences. Not something really bad, but something I didn’t know what to do about.

A loud knock on the door. It begins to open.

CAPTAIN
(bellowing at the door)
Out!

The door closes.

In your own time, lad.

BILLY
I made, the girl I met. I made her …

He tails off.

CAPTAIN
If she has a name and you respect her then don’t be ashamed to associate yourself with it.

Billy’s eyes water and he wipes them with his sleeve in embarrassment.

There’s no shame in it, lad. It’s just another pressure valve.

BILLY
Sarah Campbell, sir. Sarah Campbell. I made her pregnant. She was the first girl I ever loved and I was her first boy. We felt, we felt so strongly. We only did it once.

CAPTAIN
Is that all you’ve done, son? Why, there’s men on board I suspect have slit other men’s throats and have reason to run. Why didn’t you stay and marry the girl, lad?

BILLY
It sounds so lame now, sir, but I was scared of her father. What he would do. I still am.

CAPTAIN
What he might do and now, no doubt, you regret leaving her to face the music alone.

BILLY
I never thought of it like that. I did feel ashamed that I had run away like a coward. But I still can’t go back and face him.

CAPTAIN
Billy, how you go back is you go back and you look her father in the eye before you see her and you tell him that you’re back for good and you want to marry his daughter. If he knocks a boy down then it’s a man that gets up and says he’ll still not be leaving. Can you be that man?

BILLY
Yes sir. Yes sir, I can.

CAPTAIN
He won’t be knocking you down. I’ve not been completely frank with you lad. I wanted to hear from you that you wanted to go back.

BILLY
Captain?

CAPTAIN
There’s been a ship to shore message for you. Sparks brings all communications to me. You know that. This is for you.

He hands Billy a sheet of paper. Billy reads it avidly.

BILLY
(excitedly)
They want me back. They all want me back. Mr. Campbell says it’s alright. He says come back because Sarah needs a husband and a baby needs a father.

He reads on.

CAPTAIN
I’ll radio to shore, shall I then, that you’re coming home when we dock. Two months, Billy.

BILLY
Oh yes. Oh yes. The baby will be a month old.

EXT. A DOCKSIDE AREA – NIGHT

Billy is walking back to ship. He passes an alleyway. At the far end, the silhouette, in lamplight, of three men beating another, can be seen. Billy runs towards them shouting.

BILLY
Hey! HEY!

The shadowy figures hesitate then one can be seen holding a knife which he plunges into the chest of the victim. The victim slumps face downwards on the ground and his three assailants run out of the far end of the alleyway and into the foggy darkness.

Billy approaches the fallen man, a sailor, gently turns him over and cradles his head.

The hilt of an ornate knife protrudes from his chest which is soaked in blood. He gurgles when breathing.

The man opens his eyes and looks at Billy.

Easy now, sailor. I’ll get someone.

The man grips Billy’s arms and gives an almost imperceptible shake of the head.

SAILOR
Too late. Under my shirt.

Billy reaches under the man’s shirt. He finds a small leather pouch and holds it before the man’s face.

Take them back. Don’t let the others get them.

BILLY
I can carry you.

SAILOR
No. I’m dead. Get away. They’ll kill you. Take them back.

BILLY
Where?

The sailor lapses into unconsciousness. Billy hears a noise and looks into the gloom beyond the alley. He looks down at the sailor. In the lamplight, his eyes are open in a fixed stare. He is dead.

Billy rises silently. He puts the leather pouch into his pocket and slips away down the alley in the direction from which he had come.

EXT. QUAYSIDE – DAY

In a foreign port, a dockside crane is loading pallets onto the ship. Billy is standing on the deck next to the open hold directing the crane operation as the pallets are lowered into the hold. Each pallet holds several large wooden crates.

Another angle. The Captain is on the Bridge leaning on the rail smiling into the sunshine generally overseeing the operation. He is joined by the ship’s purser, DAVEY.

CAPTAIN
Two weeks to Portsmouth, Mr. Davey.

DAVEY
Aye, Cap’n. You’ll be sorry to say goodbye to young Billy.

CAPTAIN
Ah. The boy’s everything to live for. Take the bridge. I’m after going down to join him on deck.

DAVEY
He’s a fine seaman.

CAPTAIN
Do you think I don’t know it?

Another angle. The Captain walks onto the deck. From a distance we see him speak to Billy who laughs and then indicates to the Captain to be careful. The Captain walks away a short distance, takes his pipe from his pocket and immerses himself in the intricacies of pipe smoking.

Another angle. On the quayside, stevedores are hooking the pallet lifting ropes onto the crane hook. Billy cannot see this but when the pallet is lifted into his view, he studies the hook with concentration before he waves the pallet across the deck to the open hold.

Billy stares hard at the hook on the pallet because it is slightly down on one side. He looks behind him, to where the Captain is leaning sideways on the guardrail gazing out over the harbour as he smokes, and then all around to make sure the deck is clear before he waves the pallet across. As the pallet comes across, Billy has his back to the Captain. The pallet passes overhead slowly between Billy and the Captain. Billy has his eye on another crane. The Captain turns away from the rail and wanders absentmindedly close beneath the hovering pallet. One side of the pallet jerks down. Billy raises his hand and the crane stops. The pallet hovers. The hook slips a little. Billy steps back.

From Billy’s point of view the Purser, Davey, is shouting to the Captain from the Bridge but he cannot be heard. Davey points to the Captain who is now directly beneath the pallet. Billy moves towards the Captain. The pallet ropes give as Billy reaches the Captain. He sends the Captain sprawling to safety as he is buried beneath the falling wooden crates.

EXT. SHIP’S DECK – DAY

Billy’s feet protrude from beneath damaged packing cases.

Close on Billy face up.

His body is bent into an unnatural position. Blood flows slowly from beneath his head.

The Captain pushes through the men surrounding Billy. Billy’s eyes are closed and a hand reaches to support his head.

CAPTAIN
Get away from him!

He doesn’t move Billy.

(whispering)
Billy?

Billy opens his eyes. He focuses on the Captain’s face.

BILLY
Hold me.

A flicker crosses Billy’s face.

I can’t see you.

CAPTAIN
I’m here, son.

BILLY
Dad? Dad?

Billy’s head turns to one side and he dies. The Captain bellows in anguish.

CAPTAIN
Noaahhh!

INT. TOM’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Sarah and Catherine are sitting sewing. The twins are in a rough-hewn crib. Tom comes in through the front door. His face is strained.

TOM
Sarah, will you go upstairs. I want to talk to your mother.

Sarah silently obeys. Catherine looks up at her husband. He takes a letter from his jacket pocket.

CATHERINE
What is it, Tom?

TOM
Catherine, the boy’s dead. He was coming home and there was an accident.

CATHERINE
Mother of God. Oh, Tom.

She rises to her feet. Tom looks at the crib.

TOM
(quietly)
Those children are not meant to be in this house.

Catherine looks upwards as though she can see Sarah.

CATHERINE
Say no such thing. Our poor child.

TOM
My pocket cannot feed them.

INT. YOUNG SARAH’S BEDROOM – DAY

Sarah is sleeping peacefully, like a child. The twins lie asleep in the crib next to her bed.

The DOCTOR is talking to Catherine.

DOCTOR
She’ll sleep through to morning so you’ll have to watch the wee bairns yourself.

Catherine tucks the thin blankets around Sarah.

Katie, I brought you into this world and I know what a good woman and mother you are. I don’t know what it is you intend to do but I do know what’s best. Best for you, best for young Sarah and best for the bairns. Sarah is stronger now, But she’s still only a bairn herself and she’ll cope with the wee one’s going if they go before she’s become too attached.

CATHERINE
No, Doctor. They’ve been in her arms for these two months past. Her heart is like mine and I’ll not see it broken.

DOCTOR
You’ll see a young girl’s life ruined if you try to keep the babies. And well you know Tom cannot afford to feed more mouths.

CATHERINE
I’ll take more cleaning.

INT. TOM’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Tom is sitting at the table. Catherine is sitting on the settee with her arm around Sarah.

The twins are in the crib next to her.

TOM
Sarah, I’m not a clever man with words. I don’t even have the education you’ve had. But I do know right from wrong. I was wrong to say the things I said and I’m sorry. I’m sorry too that Billy …

He searches for a word.

… died. There’s some consolation in the letters he sent. No one can ever take away what Billy meant to you. One day, you’ll meet other young men and you’ll have the wedding you deserve. But with the war, there’s not so many men as there are girls. We, we can’t afford to keep the babies and you can’t look after them alone. You’ll have a much better chance of finding someone and the babies will have a better home …

SARAH
(cutting in) (hysterically)
Mama, stop him. Stop him.

Sarah buries her head in her mother’s pinafore. Both weep profusely.

SARAH
My baby Charles. My baby Jonathon. Papa, when I hold them I hold Billy.

TOM
Sarah, they’re not registered. When they’re adopted, they’ll be registered as legitimate children. They’ll be better off.

Sarah looks at him.

Sarah
(to her father)
Tell me you think it’s right.

Her father stares silently at the floor. After a while he speaks with difficulty.

TOM
It’s not right.

He rises to his feet and goes out the front door not bothering to take his coat.

INT. TOM’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Tom and Catherine are talking at the table.

CATHERINE
I don’t know, Tom. It sounds risky.

TOM
But it’s more money. Half as much again. For Sarah’s sake. We’ll be able to raise the bairns as our own.

CATHERINE
If ever a man deserved money, that man is you. But I don’t like you taking the risk.

TOM
If I don’t, the bairns will be adopted.

CATHERINE
You’re not a young man for those heights.

TOM
I’ll be taking extra care then. Do you think I’m looking to crack my own skull?

Catherine looks at him.

I’m sorry. I didn’t think what I was saying.

Catherine takes his hand across the table.

CATHERINE
You’re looking tired, Tom.

Close up on Tom’s haggard face.

TOM
What else can I do for the girl? Isn’t it time our luck changed?

Catherine smiles bleakly and shakes her head.

It’s settled, then.

INT. CATHERINE’S SCULLERY – DAY

Catherine is wringing out a man’s trousers over the stone sink. There are four wicker baskets of laundry on the stone floor, each with a different name attached to the side.

An ambulance bell can be heard passing in the distance.

Catherine glances out of the window, mops her brow with a skinny arm and carries on with the washing, pouring hot water from a large copper kettle onto other clothes in the sink.

EXT. BACKYARD – DAY

Catherine is hanging out washing in a pitifully small area of yard which is criss-crossed with string washing lines. Sarah comes through the back door.

SARAH
They’re both asleep now. Let me help you.

Catherine leans, exhausted, against the wall and nods.

CATHERINE
I’m nearly finished.

SARAH
I can see that.

Catherine smiles weakly.

The ambulance bell can be heard returning in the distance.

CATHERINE
Let’s get on. Your father will be home soon.

INT. TOM’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Sarah is wearily ironing. Catherine is folding clothes and placing them neatly into one of the wicker baskets which has been lined with clean brown paper.

There is a knock at the front door.

Catherine opens the door to the Doctor.

CATHERINE
They’re both asleep, Doctor.

She smiles.

We could all do with some vitamins.

The Doctor looks down at the floor then at her.

DOCTOR
Catherine.

Catherine looks towards the window and her face crinkles. She shakes her head. Her hand flies to her mouth.

CATHERINE
No, No!

INT. HOSPITAL WARD – DAY

Close up on Tom’s face with eyes closed. He is lying in bed asleep. There is a box over his legs under the thin hospital blanket.

Catherine is sitting beside him clasping his hand.

CATHERINE
Tom, do you hear me? Everything is alright. You’ve had a wee bit of an accident but you’ll be fine. I’ll be here as long as you want me to be.
The Doctor comes in.

DOCTOR
Hello Katie. Is he awake yet? I thought I’d just pop up to see how you’re both getting on.

CATHERINE
(angrily)
He’s alive, with two broken legs. They can’t say what state his back is in yet. So he’s somewhere between complete disability and full recovery.

INT. TOM’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Catherine and Sarah are sat opposite each other at the table. Sarah is crying. Catherine stands up and walks round the table to put her hands on Sarah’s shoulders. Sarah turns her tear stained face to listen to her mother.

CATHERINE
Your father did as much as any man can do.

Sarah nods.

SARAH
I hurt so much inside my heart, Mama.

CATHERINE
I know, child.

SARAH
Will no one help us?

CATHERINE
There is no one. Only God.

SARAH
(looking into the distance, pondering this)
Does Daddy get money for his accident?

CATHERINE
They don’t know whose fault it was and he wasn’t there long enough for sick pay.

Sarah starts to cry again. Catherine rocks her gently and begins to croon a lullaby.

Hush little baby. Don’t you cry. Mama’s going to sing you a lullaby.

INT. AN OFFICE – DAY

OFFICIAL
Mr. Campbell, Mrs. Campbell, we do realise how difficult this is for you both and especially for your daughter. Miss Chandler tells me Charles is going to an exceptionally fine home where he will be truly loved. His birth will be registered by his new parents so he won’t even know, when he’s older, that he’s an adopted child. We’re all sure that what you’re doing is in the best interests of Charles and your daughter. If you can sign the papers as Sarah’s legal guardian.

Tom takes the proffered pen and signs the papers. He puts the pen down on the papers.

Miss Chandler will take Charles now.

Miss Chandler steps forward to take Charles and Catherine parts with him reluctantly. She looks shell-shocked.

I’m confident that we’ll be able to place Jonathon within a week or so. For a modest fee, we could place him in the children’s home temporarily to spare your daughter anguish. We find, in these circumstances, that it’s better that both children leave their mother at the same time.

Tom looks at him in quizzical disbelief. Miss Chandler leans forward and whispers in the Official’s ear. With total lack of understanding and tact, he addresses Tom again.

Oh, I am so sorry. You’re the family that doesn’t have any money. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here.

He chuckles slightly at his little joke.

Well. Thank you. We’ll be in touch by the end of the week, one way or the other, about Jonathon. Can you find your own way out?

INT. TOM’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Catherine is ironing listlessly while Sarah, equally listlessly, folds baby clothes and packs them. Jonathon is in the crib.

Tom is in his wheelchair staring out the front window.

An envelope drops through the door. When Catherine finishes the garment she is ironing, she walks over, picks it up and puts it on the table, unopened. Sarah looks over to it.

SARAH
(staring out the front window)
Dad?

Tom turns his wheelchair awkwardly towards the table and picks up the envelope. He looks at the handwriting on it.

TOM
The bastards want Jonathon and I don’t have the means to stop them. What manner of man am I? If Billy hadn’t been scared of me he’d never have left and he’d be alive now and I’d have legs and I’d be feeding you all.
(breaking down sobbing)
What manner of man am I?

Sarah goes to her father.

SARAH
(sobbing)
You’re my dada and I love you.
(sobbing uncontrollably)
And you’re a kind man and I know that you’ve always loved all of us but we just can’t be together and Charles has gone to a good home where he’s loved and Jonathon will go to a good home and be loved and I’m going to look after you and love you like you’ve loved all of us.

She breaks away and runs upstairs. Catherine runs after her.

INT. TOM’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Tom, Catherine and Sarah are dressed to go out.

SARAH
I don’t want to even see that place. Let me say goodbye to Johnny here. Please, Mama.

CATHERINE
I can’t manage to push your father and carry Johnny.

Sarah picks up Jonathon from the crib. Catherine takes the handles of the wheelchair and turns it towards the door. Sarah reaches to open the door.

There is a knock on the door.

Sarah replaces Jonathon in the crib and opens the door. Sarah sees the Captain in full dress uniform.

CAPTAIN
Ah and you’ll be young Sarah Campbell. Is your father after being at home?

INT. TOM’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Tom, Catherine, Sarah and the Captain are seated round the table on which there is a locked metal box.

CAPTAIN
I could not be here before today. This is Billy’s chest exactly as he left it unopened and this is the key …
(putting a key on the table)
… he had around his neck when he gave his life for me. In my book it belongs to you young Sarah and no one is any the wiser.

Sarah reaches for the key.

RIPPLE TO:
INT. SARAH’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

SARAH
Photographs. Bits and pieces from Billy’s travels. A lock of my hair and letters he’d written but had never sent.

She becomes immersed in her own thoughts before Jenny brings her back gently.

JENNY
Letters?

SARAH
He wanted me to read them …

She pauses.

and …

RIPPLE TO:
INT. TOM’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Billy’s chest is open with his curios lying beside it. Sarah takes out the leather pouch. It is small but heavy. She unties the thong. We see the amazement on the faces of Tom, Catherine and the Captain as she pours the contents slowly onto the table.

CAPTAIN
Oh, Billy lad.

We see Sarah’s wide eyed gaze as we pan back to reveal the table top strewn with pearls.

I heard about this.

TOM
What?

CAPTAIN
No matter. He came by them honestly, I’ve no doubt. They belong to young Sarah but you’d be wise to avoid any questions being asked. I tell you this. The boy was no coward.

RIPPLE TO:
INT. SARAH’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

SARAH
The Captain sold them for my father. With so much money, there was no question of Johnny being adopted.

CHARLES
But you couldn’t get me back?

SARAH
That didn’t stop me, or my father, from trying. I had the money. It was all spent trying to get you back and getting my father well.

CHARLES
God knows, Sir Geoffrey, my adoptive father, tried to find you too.

RIPPLE TO:
INT. OFFICE – DAY

Tom, on crutches, is stood facing the Official across his desk.

TOM
How much?

OFFICIAL
It’s not that simple. Even if you found out where he is, you can’t get the boy back. That’s the law.

TOM
Let me worry about that. Just tell me where he is.

OFFICIAL
Miss Chandler placed him. I’ll have to get hold of her file.

He extends his hand. Tom takes a wad of notes from within his jacket and hands them over.

INT. CORRIDOR – DAY

Tom is hobbling slowly towards the street door.

Miss Chandler emerges from an office. She hesitates and looks at him quizzically. He looks away and hurries on out. She continues on her way.

INT. OFFICE – DAY

Tom, still with crutches, but sitting, is facing the Official again.

OFFICIAL
I’m risking a lot.

TOM
You’ve been paid enough.

OFFICIAL
She’s not in today. Wait here. I’ll get the file.

Tom stands on his crutches and waits while the Official leaves, closing the door behind him.

INT. OFFICE – DAY

Tom is still standing when the Official returns with a bundle of tied files.

OFFICIAL
It’s one of these.

INT. MISS CHANDLER’S OFFICE – DAY

Miss Chandler enters her office and immediately sees an open filing cabinet. She looks at her watch, turns on her heel and marches out, her face set hard.

INT. OFFICE – DAY

Tom is now sitting awkwardly across the desk from the Official, with both legs straight. The Official is untying the bundled files.

The Official sees the office door behind Tom and a woman’s shadow hesitate beyond the opaque glass.

OFFICIAL
I’ve found it. Have you got the rest of the money.

Tom looks at him in disgust and throws down a slim bundle of money.

TOM
That’s all there is.

The Official puts the money in his jacket pocket. He starts to open the file when the door bursts open and Miss Chandler storms in.

MISS CHANDLER
Give me that file. All of them.

The Official numbly gathers the files together and she snatches them from him.

Are you going to tell me what’s going on or do I call the police?
(looking at Tom)
Mr. Campbell?

Tom is defiant.

TOM
I want to know where the boy is.

MISS CHANDLER
That’s not possible. You know that. What made you think you can come in here and demand that information?

TOM
I didn’t come in here and demand the information.

OFFICIAL
Best not to say any more, Mr. Campbell.

Miss Chandler looks angrily at the Official.

MISS CHANDLER
What is going on here?

Neither Tom nor the Official speak.

I’m calling the police.

OFFICIAL
No, don’t do that.

Miss Chandler looks at him and waits for an explanation.

Mr. Campbell gave me some money to tell him.

Miss Chandler looks at Tom incredulously.

MISS CHANDLER
You bribed a public official? You can go to prison for that.

She ponders for a moment then softens. She shakes her head slowly.

Not for you, Mr. Campbell. For your daughter.
(to the Official)
Give him his money back.
(to Tom)
If I see you here again, I will call the police.

The Official takes out the money Tom gave him earlier and hands it back.

OFFICIAL
I’m sorry, Mr. Campbell.

TOM
Where’s the rest of my money?

OFFICIAL
That’s why I’m sorry. I don’t have it.

Tom rises despite his obvious pain.

It’s all gone. On gambling.

MISS CHANDLER
(to the Official)
You damn fool. How much?

TOM
(almost to himself)
Billy’s fortune.

MISS CHANDLER
What?

TOM
A lot of money. I’m going to the police.

OFFICIAL
That won’t get you the money back. You’ll go to prison. I’ll lose my job.

MISS CHANDLER
You’ve already lost your job.
(to Tom)
I don’t know why I feel sorry for you but I do. It’s up to you if you want to call the police.

TOM
What the hell’s the point. I’ve done it again. Ruined her life. Maybe it would be better for her if I were in prison.

MISS CHANDLER
I don’t want to see you again, Mr. Campbell.

TOM
(to the Official)
Don’t you ever cross my path.

RIPPLE TO:
INT. SARAH’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

VICKY
What happened to those awful people?

SARAH
I hope they ended up with each other.

RIPPLE TO:
INT. OFFICE – DAY

The Official looks up as Miss Chandler enters. He pushes his chair back from his desk and she sits on his lap. They kiss.

OFFICIAL
That was some act.

MISS CHANDLER
It works every time.

They kiss again.

OFFICIAL
Do you think he’ll come back? Or call the police?

MISS CHANDLER
Do they ever?

She stands and walks to the door. Before leaving, she looks over her shoulder at him and wiggles her bottom.

FADE OUT.

THE END