The Two and a Half Feathers Dad's Army


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The Two and a Half Feathers

Classic wartime sitcom. An old comrade-in-arms dredges up the past and brings the glorious history of Corporal Jones into question.


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# Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler

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# If you think we're on the run?

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# We are the boys who will stop your little game

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# We are the boys who will make you think again

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# 'Cos who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler

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# If you think old England's done?

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# Mr Brown goes off to town on the 8.21

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# But he comes home each evening And he's ready with his gun

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# So who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler

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# If you think old England's done? #

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-What are you having, Wilson?

-Toad-in-the-hole, sir.

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-I think I'll have fish and potato pie.

-Mm.

-We'll get in the queue before the rush.

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-Soup?

-Er, no, thank you. Could I have toad-in-the-hole, please?

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-Comin' up.

-Thank you.

-..One toad.

-Thank you.

-Ta.

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Could I have just a bit more toad?

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Only half a toad per person. There IS a war on! ..Next!

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Fish pie, please.

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-What sort of fish is it?

-Snook.

-I beg your pardon?

-Snook.

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-Could I have the toad-in-the-hole instead, please?

-I wish you'd make up your mind!

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-Veg?

-Yes, please.

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Next? Fish pie, please. What fish is it? Snook.

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I'll have the toad-in-the-hole.

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Cor blimey, another one! Listen, the fish pie's snook. Got it? Snook! ..Next!

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-Bread puddin'?

-Please.

-With?

-Please.

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-Hey, I saw that!

-I beg your pardon?

-Don't come all lah-di-dah! Put one of those slices back!

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-Don't forget there's a war on!

-I'm hardly likely to.

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-And take your dirties back to the hatch.

-I always do.

-No, you don't. You left 'em yesterday.

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I'm not clearin' up your dirties!

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-Look here...!

-Wilson, you're making an exhibition of yourself.

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-Bread puddin'?

-Just custard, please.

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Have to watch my figure, you know.

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You've got a nice figure. Betty and I think you look like a teddy-bear.

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Oh, yes, a great big cuddly teddy-bear!

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Do you really think so?

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You got mine, Doreen? Yes. Get Mr Walker's steak, Betty.

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Comin' up. ..Mr Walker's steak!

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Here you are.

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-Ta.

-What are you doing with that, Walker?

-I'm gonna eat it.

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That's two weeks' meat ration! I've got toad-in-the-hole.

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You wanna watch that. It can be very nasty.

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-Where's it from?

-I brought it in. They cooked it. ..Here's the elastic.

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Ohh!

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Don't want 'em fallin' down on the job, do we?!

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Just take for the tea, love.

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Flaunting your black market food could get the platoon a bad name.

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Mr Mainwaring, I'm not in uniform and I'm not on parade.

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What's more, I've a deposit account at your bank with over £1,500 in it, so let me have me dinner, eh?

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Mine's 1/2d.

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-To be exact, he's got £1,542.

-Go and find another table, Pike.

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Can't have the rank and file eating with us.

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Want some pickle, Pikey? Yes, please, Joe. Do you want some, Mr Mainwaring?

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-Not with toad-in-the-hole.

-It's free.

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-Hello, Pikey...Joe.

-Hello.

-Hello, Mr Mainwaring.

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-I've come to say goodbye.

-Don't tell me you got your calling-up papers, Jonesy!

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Give those Boers hell for me, eh?!

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If you don't come back, can I 'ave that ten bob you borrowed?

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-No need to be funny. If you want it, you can 'ave it.

-I was only jokin'.

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-Sit down, Jones. Everyone is staring.

-I wear this uniform with pride.

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Those mothballs went in our dinner. Ssh! Everyone'll want one!

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-Do sit down, Jones, you're showing us up.

-All right, sir.

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Where exactly are you going?

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-To the 42nd annual reunion of the veterans of Omdurman.

-Really?

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Yes, I should have been mentioned in dispatches, but I think they run out of paper.

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-That was the last cavalry charge made by the British Army. I'll show you.

-No, no.

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-Not just now, Jones.

-Hang on!

-I'm only borrowing 'em! ..There were these two huge rocks.

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Huge rocks, you see, like that.

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And General Kitchener was over here and the mad Mahadi was over here.

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All of a sudden there was a bugle call. Toot-toot-toot!

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And all these dervishes and all that lot come rushin' towards us, and fuzzie-wuzzies.

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General Kitchener was standing on his horse, or rather sittin' on it.

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Cool as a cucumber, he said, "Don't shoot till you see the red of their eyes."

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-I think he said "whites of their eyes".

-Yeah, but he should've said red,

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'cos their eyes were bloodshot.

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You get a lot of bloodshot eyeballs in the desert. Not lyin' around in the sand. In their heads, y'know.

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-Have you finished with my pickle?

-Not yet. So they charged at us remorsefully, you see,

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and we repulsed them and then they come at us with choppers, choppin' off heads left, right and centre.

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And there was blood EVERYWHERE.

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And the corpses were piled eight foot high.

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Well, Mr Mainwaring, I'll leave you to enjoy your dinner. Cheerio.

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-If you don't mind my saying so, sir, I seem to have lost my appetite.

-Yes, so have I.

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-But we can't waste food in wartime, can we?

-No.

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-Mr Walker, mind if I have some of your pickle?

-No, no. You help yourself.

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-It might help to make it a little more palatable.

-Yes, quite.

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Are you all right, sir?

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What's happened, Walker?

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-Is it this?

-Hang on.

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-Cor! Mr Mainwaring's just eaten one of Jonesy's mothballs.

-What?!

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Oh, for heaven's sake! ..Excuse me.

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-Hey, what about your dirties?

-My what?

-Take 'em back to the hatch.

-Just clear away, will you, please?

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Capt Mainwaring, it's downstairs!

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Capitalist lackey!

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# Where are the boys of the old brigade...? #

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-Excuse me, sir, Private Frazer is outside waiting to introduce his new recruit.

-Bring them in.

-Right.

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All right, Frazer, you can bring your friend in now.

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-Sir, I'd like tae introduce Mr George Clarke. He wants to join us, sir.

-Good evening, Mr Clarke.

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Good evening, sir!

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-I'd hazard a guess you've served in the Army before.

-Correct, sir.

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-You know Mr Clarke well?

-Aye, sir.

-And you'd say he is a man of integrity?

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And very generous. He stood me several drinks last Thursday night.

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-When did you first meet him?

-Last Thursday night.

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Well, tell us about yourself, Mr Clarke.

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Well, sir...

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I've been a regular soldier all me life. I retired 10 year ago and I've only been in Walmington a few weeks.

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-When did you join the Army?

-44 year ago, sir. 1897.

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I served under Gen Kitchener at the Battle of Omdurman.

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-What a coincidence!

-Yes. ..I don't suppose you came across a L/Cpl Jones?

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-Thousands of men took part in the battle, sir.

-Yes, I was only joking.

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-I was in the Warwickshires.

-So was Jones.

-Yes.

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It was a long time ago, but I DO remember one Jones.

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He was always a bit behind with his drill. But he wasn't that rank. That's him!

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He wasnae a lance-corporal? No, just an ordinary private.

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Did you hear that, Mr Mainwaring? The man's an imposter!

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-Yes, all right, Frazer.

-I knew it!

-All right!

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We'll have to wait till tomorrow to see if it's the same man.

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Come in early tomorrow so we can fit you out with a uniform.

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I'll swear you in now. Hand me the Bible, Wilson.

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-What Bible?

-The Bible to swear him in with.

-I haven't got a Bible.

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-I asked you to bring a Bible along.

-No, the word "Bible" never passed your lips.

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How can I swear him in without the Bible?

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# Ready and strong, marching along... #

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-Hurry up, Godfrey.

-I shan't be a minute, sir.

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Unless you wear braces, not a belt, you are NOT dressed right.

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If I wear braces, I won't be ABLE to dress right!

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-Can't you find a better blouse?

-It's the best I can do. The customer IS rather an awkward size.

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You'll have to alter it. ..Must have you smartly turned out, Clarke.

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-When do I start training?

-You'll just have to pick it up as you go.

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I tell ye, this fella Clarke said he knew Jones in the Sudan.

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How would he remember after all these years?

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This Jones was allus a beat behind when they were drilling.

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It still doesn't prove anything.

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-How did the reunion of the Battle of Om-de-bum-bum go?

-Omdurman!

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-I bet you were all reliving that fighting.

-We had a nice time.

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-You were drunk, were ye?

-No, I just had a convivial evening, that's all.

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-Mr Mainwaring wants to see ye.

-Oh, right.

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-Hold on. ..Come on, boys, we don't want to miss this!

-Come in!

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-Lance-Corporal Jones to see you, sir.

-All right, Frazer.

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-Evening, sir.

-Evening, Corporal.

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I want you to meet Private Clarke.

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-How d'you do?

-Hello, Jonesy. You remember me?

-No, I don't think I do.

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'Course you do! 14789, Private Clarke.

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-Oh, hello, Nobby!

-Hello, mate. Long time no see, eh?

-Yes, a long time.

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-You remember me now, don't you?

-Yes, I remember you now.

-And I remember you...mate.

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I remember you very, VERY well.

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-Well, I'll go and fall the men in, sir.

-It'll give me a chance to introduce Clarke to the platoon.

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This way, Clarke.

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(Shut the door!)

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Did you see that?! See what?

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I've a kind of a notion that these two, Clarke and Jones, dinnae like each other very much.

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You aren't half a mixer. Maybe, but there's something that Jones doesnae want us to know.

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I can't believe that, Mr Frazer.

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Can't ye? I can. There's no smoke without fire. No smoke without fire.

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# Where are the boys of the old brigade...? #

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Well, you see, after parade, I took this fellow, Clarke, along for a drink.

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And when he had stood me a couple of pints, I came out with it directly.

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I said, "Tell me, what did happen between you and Jones?"

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He was very evasive about the whole affair, but from what I could gather, reading between the lines,

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it seems that the two of them were out on patrol, and somehow they got captured.

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Well...Jones managed to escape,

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and he left this fella, Clarke, in the desert to DIE. Aye!

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Mind you, there may not be any truth in it,

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but what I always say is... there's no smoke without fire.

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No smoke without fire.

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Look at that lovely moon, Joe. Yeah.

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Oh, yes, it's very nice. What's up with you tonight?

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I've a lot on me mind. You've usually only got one thing on your mind!

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Come on, give us a kiss! Wait a minute, love. Don't you love me any more?

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'Course I do. I'm mad about you. It's just I asked Jonesy if he had left this bloke in the desert,

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but he wouldn't say anything, not even to deny it.

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Look, are you gonna give me a kiss or not?

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Oh, well, I suppose so. I'm sittin' here, ain't I ?

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-Are you asleep, Elizabeth?

-Mm-mm-mm.

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I can't help thinking it would be better to sleep inside the house when there isn't a raid on.

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-This shelter's very damp.

-Mm-mm-mm.

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It's no good. I...I can't sleep. I'm going to have a read.

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-I'm sure you'd be much more comfortable if

-I

-were on the top bunk.

-Mm-mm-mm.

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-Post, Mr Jones.

-Oh, thank you, Raymond.

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Ta.

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"Why did you leave your friend in the desert to die?"

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"There's no room in Walmington-on-Sea for a coward."

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"A coward like you is not even worth a whole white feather. So I'm sending you half a one."

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-Raymond!

-Yes, Mr Jones?

-Come here.

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-There's something I've got to do.

-What's that, Mr Jones?

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Something I should've done a long time ago, boy.

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It's the only way.

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It's the only way.

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I mean to get to the bottom of this.

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Clarke, what exactly did happen between you two in the desert?

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We was captured by the dervishes. They pegged me out in the sand.

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Jones begged for mercy and they took him with 'em.

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Somehow he managed to escape, but he didn't come back for me.

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I can just remember this native going through me pockets.

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When I come to, I was in hospital. That native must have saved my life.

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-Jones wouldn't have left you to die.

-Then why has he cleared off?

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-I'll tell you why.

-Jones!

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First, I'd like to thank you for having faith in me, sir.

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Up till now my lips have been sealed, but now I can reveal myself and tell you what really happened.

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It was just before the big battle.

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'Private Clarke and I were part of a patrol sent out to find out the strength of the Mahadi's army.

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'We were headed by Col Smythe, a tall, resolute man, who scarcely spoke a word.

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'The other officer was a young, raw 2nd lieutenant, the colonel's nephew.

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'There was also a young Cockney, Private Green, always telling jokes.

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'The sergeant was Sgt Ironside, a nasty, coarse fellow with a rough tongue.

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'I knew that patrol was doomed from the start.

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'Vultures wheeled overhead. Then as we rounded a corner,

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'there was an old fakir blocking our path. "Turn back!" he said. "It is written in the sand

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'"that by nightfall all of you will be dead. "Rubbish!" said the colonel.

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'"Do not go against the will of Allah!" the fakir said.

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'None of us took much notice of him as we all marched past.

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'However, the sergeant gave him a mouthful of coarse abuse.

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'This seemed to upset the old fakir, who said something to him in Arabic.

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'Later I learned it was a curse upon us all. And soon it came true.

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'As the midday sun scorched down, a fusillade of shots rang out.'

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Take cover! Take cover!

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Take cover! Take *??**! cover!

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Take cover! ..OHH !

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'I rushed over to the lieutenant and cradled him in my arms.

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'To think of this young boy dying out here in the foreign, burning desert. It was too much to bear.'

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Thank you, Jones. You're a good chap. Dashed hard luck, this.

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-I want you to promise me something.

-What's that, sir?

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-When you get back to England, I want you to go and see my mater.

-Yes, sir.

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-Tell her I couldn't help it.

-Couldn't help what, sir?

0:22:150:22:19

Falling off my horse.

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Keep your *??**! heads down!

0:22:320:22:35

-Uncle Arthur...

-Yes, Franklin?

0:22:460:22:49

-In case we don't survive this, there's something I must ask.

-What?

0:22:490:22:55

-About you and Mater.

-I'd rather you didn't ask.

-All right.

-That's it.

0:22:550:23:01

GREEN: Sarge, there's thousands of 'em!

0:23:040:23:09

Shut up and keep your *??**! head down!

0:23:090:23:12

I don't like the look of this, Colonel. Those *??**! dervishes mean *??**! business.

0:23:220:23:30

Yes, as soon as it's dark, we'd better send for help.

0:23:300:23:35

-Permission to speak, sir.

-What is it, Jones?

0:23:350:23:40

-I'd like to volunteer to fetch help.

-All right, you do that and take Private Clarke with you.

-Right, sir.

0:23:400:23:48

'We managed to creep out during the night and head off for help. Little did we realise

0:23:490:23:57

'that nasty savage eyes was watching our every move.

0:23:570:24:01

'The sun was beating down on us. We realised our water-bottles was empty. ..Suddenly we looked up,

0:24:010:24:11

'There was two horrible dervishes looking down at us. We was trapped. Caught by the dervishes.

0:24:110:24:20

'I faced them like a man,

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'but Private Clarke flung himself down and begged for mercy.

0:24:230:24:29

'I had to look away.

0:24:290:24:33

'Those dervishes pegged Clarke out in the sand and left him to die.

0:24:330:24:39

'They dragged me behind them for miles.

0:24:390:24:43

'What fate was in store for me I had no means of knowing.

0:24:430:24:49

'We stopped and they cooked a meal. A quarrel broke out and next minute they were at each other's throats.

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'They fought like demons.

0:24:570:25:00

'This was my chance. They weren't taking any notice of me.

0:25:000:25:05

'I worked my way over to the fire.

0:25:050:25:10

'I burned through the ropes. It was agony, but I managed to stick it.

0:25:100:25:15

'Suddenly one of the dervishes broke away.

0:25:210:25:27

'The other dervish shouted something after him.

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'Then I remembered dervishes can't stand fire.

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'I quickly seized a burning brand from the fire.

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'I thrust it in front of his face. He turned from a proud warrior into a gibbering idiot.

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'His nostrils distended with fear.

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'He shouted, "Om kar yar, kar kar kar! Om kar yar kar kar kar!"

0:25:520:25:58

'which translated means, "Put that light out!"

0:25:580:26:03

'I made him take his robes off. I had him at my mercy.

0:26:030:26:09

'I put them on over my uniform and hurried back to Private Clarke.

0:26:090:26:16

'I thought Clarke was a goner.

0:26:160:26:19

'I got his wallet to send home with his personal effects. I opened it.

0:26:190:26:24

'Inside I saw a thing that in spite of the heat made my blood run cold.

0:26:240:26:31

'It was a picture of the colonel's lady. The colonel's wife was not so upstanding as he was.

0:26:310:26:39

'To think she and Private Clarke had been...! I couldn't believe it.

0:26:390:26:45

'As I was kneeling there, I heard a groan. Clarke wasn't dead at all.

0:26:450:26:51

'I got him on the horse and after a nightmare journey through the sand,

0:26:510:26:57

'we came across the relief column.'

0:26:570:27:01

SILENT SHOUT

0:27:030:27:07

Private Clarke was taken back to HQ and I never saw him again till now.

0:27:070:27:13

I tell you, sir, I kept that secret locked in my bosoms...

0:27:130:27:19

..all those years, the secret that nobody knew except Private Clarke, the colonel's lady and meself.

0:27:200:27:27

-Why didn't you tell us this before?

-I couldn't, sir.

0:27:270:27:32

Not while there was a chance the colonel was still alive.

0:27:320:27:38

That's where I've been, at Somerset House looking through the records.

0:27:380:27:43

And I'm happy to say the colonel and his lady are now up in that great parade ground in the sky

0:27:430:27:50

where the breath of scandal cannot touch them, sir.

0:27:500:27:55

-And now I've got a chance to burn these letters.

-I'm sorry, Jones.

0:27:550:28:00

Right, now I'll deal with Clarke.

0:28:000:28:04

-He went outside a few minutes ago, sir.

-Why didn't you stop him?

-Well...

-Come on, after him!

0:28:040:28:12

-YOU'RE in a hurry!

-Did you see a man leave here?

-He was rushing for a train, but he gave me a message.

0:28:130:28:22

-He's sorry, but he's had to resign.

-He can't do that!

0:28:220:28:27

-Desertion's a serious crime.

-It is.

-Are you gonna put him against a wall and fire water-pistols at him?!

0:28:270:28:35

Just clear off, will you?

0:28:350:28:37

-Pike, jump on your bike and see if you can catch him.

-Let him go, sir.

0:28:370:28:42

My mum said never trust anyone with their eyes too close together.

0:28:420:28:47

"The moving finger writes and having writ moves on."

0:28:470:28:52

-What's that got to do with it?

-I don't know, sir.

0:28:520:28:58

C'mon, Jonesy, you can burn those letters now.

0:28:580:29:02

-- There you go. - An enemy plane could see that!

-Aw, shut up!

0:29:020:29:11

Put that light out! PUT THAT LIGHT OUT !

0:29:110:29:15

Put it out! Put that light out!

0:29:150:29:20

Subtitles by Alison Loudon

0:30:050:30:10