A View from a Hill


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A View from a Hill

Adaptation of the classic ghost story by MR James in which Fanshawe is sent to authenticate the collection of his boss's old school friend and finds a gruesome local legend.


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DOORBELL RINGS

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-Excuse me.

-Good God!

-My name's Fanshawe...

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I'm here about the collection...

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From the museum?

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You're not coming till next week.

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-I sent you a letter.

-Yes, I know - next week.

-This week.

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-I'm here.

-Oh, well,

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so it would seem.

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Patten!

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You want a walk? I was just going for one.

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-I tried ringing from the station.

-No point.

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He doesn't hear it. I don't answer.

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The fellow from the Fitzwilliam's here.

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You got any bags? Now, yes, put him in the Cedar Room would you?

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I'm cooking.

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Get your boots on and I'll put you in the picture.

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If we walk up over the hill, you can get your bearings, and then you can go about as you like.

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Have you got a pair of binoculars?

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-Mine are broken.

-Well, it's all quite visible to the naked eye, you know.

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Mmm.

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My great-grandfather started it all off.

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Brought a load of crates back from the Crimea.

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Rest of it's mainly from around here.

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There you are - bit clapped out but I suppose they still work.

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Well, they sent you at a good time of year.

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Couple of weeks, this'll all be gone.

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You a country boy?

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No, no I'm not.

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Always feel one misses out,

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if you don't have a bit of nature around you.

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It's not always a matter of choice.

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Ahh.

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I don't know, sights of interest?

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Well, there's Wanstone, used to be a monastery once upon a time.

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To the north, Lambstone. Some civil war things, or was it Roman?

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I can't remember, my father would've known. Gallows Hill...

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And below it, The Coach And Horses, good pint, good steak and ale pie.

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And somewhere over there, Fulnaker Abbey, or what's left of it.

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That should tickle your fancy.

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Er, across the big field, the green one, after the farm.

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It's a good tower.

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It's a ruin.

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You must have gotten hold of Oldbourne Church.

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Right. I don't know about you, but I'm famished.

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What is it?

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I don't know how it could happen.

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The front door was open, but then it's always open, no-one ever comes.

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What's the matter with you?

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Can't I take my own binoculars out?

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So tell me, how is the old boy?

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Your boss, Wilson.

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Professor Wilson, I should be calling him.

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He's well.

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I think he's well, I don't see him much.

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Bit offended he didn't come in person, to be honest.

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We were at school together, back in the dark ages.

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-He's a busy man.

-Must be.

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Made quite a name for himself from what I know.

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-He's...well-regarded.

-Oh, yes?

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In the right circles.

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And what are they?

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Mmm, this is worse than usual.

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I'd fire him if I was paying him anything.

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That's why you're here, old lad.

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Selling off the family silver.

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Got to keep the old shack together somehow.

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-Why does he stay then?

-Hmm?

-Patten.

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If you're not paying him?

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Search me.

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Get to a certain age you find there's nowhere to go.

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-THUNDER

-So, what do you think?

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Well, I'll need to know where it was all found. Can't authenticate otherwise.

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-Not with any accuracy.

-Oh, it's all been catalogued.

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The old man was a stickler for detail. Military mind.

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Didn't quite rub off on me I'm afraid.

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-It's a good collection.

-I hope so.

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Never really my thing, standing in a field, grubbing about in the past.

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One wants to get oneself out there, don't you think? Get a bit of life.

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Oh, that's Baxter's. My father bought his collection after he died.

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Some of it is pretty bizarre.

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-Who's Baxter?

-Oh, he was a watchmaker, down in the village.

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Well before my time of course.

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Fancied himself as an archaeologist. Like yourself.

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Well, I am an archaeologist.

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Actually I'm a doctor.

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Have to get you to take a look at my feet.

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Those are his scribblings.

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Used to go around making notes.

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No real education, just had a nose for it.

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They went over all the sites after he died.

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Always found something.

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-Sounds like a good man.

-What?

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Well, useful I mean.

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I couldn't tell you. He certainly wasn't liked.

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This is it.

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This is Oldbourne right?

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No. Nothing like it.

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Fulnaker Abbey.

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-It's a ruin you said?

-That's right, Henry VIII dissolved it, I think.

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Erm, is Mr Richards...

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Left early.

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Had some errands to run or other.

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I'm to show you where everything is.

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Can't be easy?

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I manage.

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The house I mean.

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It's a lot for one man.

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Oh.

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Place like this needs attention.

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Holds a lot of memories.

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Got everything you need?

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Thank you.

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TWIGS BREAK

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Agh!

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Hello?

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RUSTLING

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Hello?

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Who's there?

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Who's there?

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Aagh!

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Did you get lost?

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We were about to send a search party.

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I can't really explain it.

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I mean, you can see that there was an abbey there,

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once upon a time.

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That's what I saw through the binoculars and Baxter's pictures.

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Now there's just a few stones in an empty field.

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Wishful thinking perhaps?

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Then I, er, found myself on Gallows Hill.

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It was strange, I got the impression that there was someone there.

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-A poacher?

-Not much poaching goes on up there.

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Whoever...

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Whatever it was, it seemed like...

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..it felt like a very unnatural kind of place.

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It's silly, I just...

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-I ran.

-Understandable.

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It is called Gallows Hill.

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They used to hang people there.

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Leave them till they were pecked to bits. You getting all this?

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Did you have those glasses with you, Dr Fanshawe?

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What is it with you and those damn binoculars?

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I would say that whatever...feelings,

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or whatever experience you had up there,

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was probably due to the owner of those glasses.

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Baxter? He's dead.

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I know.

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My father served on the inquest.

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They returned a verdict of "unsound mind".

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Well, sit down then if you're going to talk.

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Look, Baxter was a very peculiar fellow.

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By himself, you know, in amongst all that junk and stuff.

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Used to be very bothered with ransacking and rummaging all the history of the place.

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But that wasn't all apparently.

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DISTANT SCREAM

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As time went on he...

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started to get some funny ideas of how to spend his nights.

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Always had some project on the go or something.

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And pretty much the last job he did was finishing off those glasses you took.

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And then...

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one day...

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he just upped and went.

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Disappeared.

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There was a rumour that he'd left the town.

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Some thought he had debts.

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BIRDS CALL

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Others, that he'd come to no good.

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Which was true,

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in a manner of speaking.

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What?! The hanged men came for Baxter because they didn't like their bones being boiled?!

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You said yourself that your father thought there was something to back up those drawings he made.

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Somebody got drunk and did him in, didn't they?

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As I said, he wasn't well-liked.

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Will that be all for tonight?

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It's an interesting story.

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-Everything all right?

-Yes, fine.

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-Only I, er...

-Everything's fine...

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thanks.

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HE GASPS

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DEEP BREATHS

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FLOORBOARD CREAKS

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BIRDSONG

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CROWS CAW

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HE GASPS

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Oh, God!

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HE LAUGHS

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Agh!

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RUSTLING

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CONTINUOUS RUSTLING

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FOOTSTEPS

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Argh!

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PANICKED BREATHS

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TAWNY OWL'S CRIES

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Oh! HE GROANS WITH EXERTION

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OWLS' AND BUZZARDS' CRIES

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FOXES BARK

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Dr Fanshawe!

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Fanshawe!

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Dr Fanshawe!

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Over there!

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CROWS CAW

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CROWS CRIES RISE IN VOLUME

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BIRDSONG

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I'm sorry, I didn't...

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Sorry about the collection.

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Doesn't matter.

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Whatever it's worth, it's only a drop in the ocean.

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At least I've still got Patten.

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You going to be all right?

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LOUD SNAP

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd - 2005

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E-mail subtitling@bbc.co.uk

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Adaptation of the classic ghost story by MR James in which Fanshawe is sent to authenticate the collection of his boss's old school friend and finds nothing much of interest except an 'odd couple' squire and servant, a pair of binoculars and a gruesome local legend.