Stumpy's Brae


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Stumpy's Brae

Drama. After their meagre life savings are unjustly taken from them, a poor peasant couple decide, one stormy night, to offer shelter to a mysterious pedlar in exchange for money.


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This programme contains some scenes some viewers may find disturbing

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BIRDS SCREECH

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EERIE SUSPENSEFUL SCORE

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RUSTLING

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Are you lost, man?

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Not as lost as our friend.

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We'll give him a home.

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NARRATOR: Have you not heard of Stumpy's Brae?

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Sit down, sit down, young friend

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I'll make your flesh to creep this night

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and your hair to stand on end.

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You get all your messages done?

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I did.

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And before you ask, I sold all the wee hens for a decent price.

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I don't doubt it.

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Did you settle for the flour? I did.

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And the oats? Them and all.

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And there was money left over? There was.

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You done well.

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Have you the price of a ticket yet?

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Near to half of one fare.

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John! John!

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What's wrong?

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A letter from Donald.

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He says they're giving parcels of land to they that will go out west.

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Well, they do say fortune favours fools,

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so Donald should have nothing to worry about.

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Did you mind my dinner?

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He's sent us two dollars for the tin.

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That's powerful good of your brother.

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I hope he hasn't left himself short.

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Hello, Mrs Campbell, is your husband home?

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He's not. He's out at his work.

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Well, you'll not take it ill if we hang on for him?

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What's it about?

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If it's all the same to you, Mrs Campbell,

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I'd prefer to talk business with the man of the house.

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You have no business with us.

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We paid our rent a fortnight back.

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The landlord has decided to raise the rent.

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He can't do that.

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He can do what he wants. It's his land.

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Well, he'll have to hold on.

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We can't give you what we don't have.

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I know times are hard. And no-one has anything to spare.

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COINS RATTLE

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Yet there's always folks that hide their meat and ask for more.

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HE CHUCKLES

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Ah, no, John!! You'll get us put out.

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No! They can't take it. No!!

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Keep a tight hold of your wife, man, or she'll land you in jail.

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John!!

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JOHN COUGHS VIOLENTLY

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HE GROANS AND COUGHS

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We can always save more money.

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Do you know how long it took us

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to scrape together what was in yon tin?

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We could sell some of your mother's belongings.

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We can...

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We can do nothing, John. It's over.

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Our money's gone, along with our chance. We left it too long.

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THUNDER RUMBLES AND RAIN FALLS

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DOOR OPENS

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That's rough weather.

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Is everything shut tight?

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Aye, all's battened down.

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HE RUBS HIS HANDS

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RATTLING AT THE DOOR

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HEAVY KNOCKING

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Who's there?

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An honest traveller. I'm looking lodgings for the night.

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Well, you may continue looking.

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Would you see a gentleman founder for want of the right road?

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I'd be willing to pay.

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Well, maybe we could find a dry corner for a man of means.

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I'm obliged to you.

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Yon's no night for man or beast.

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Come in, come in. You'll let the heat out. Aye.

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Man, but yon's a grand fire.

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Now... how does two shillings for the night sound?

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Sounds dear.

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Of course, we would have asked for three or four, but...

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seeing as how you're lost...

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As you say.

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I see you have broth on the boil.

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Could you spare a bowl?

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We've none to spare, but...

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..for six pence more you can have my own bite...

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though I'll go empty for it.

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Good sir, you have a deal.

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WIND HOWLS AND RAIN PELTS

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SCRAPING AND SLURPING

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Yon was great broth.

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I'm glad you thought so much of it.

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I've seldom had finer.

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Would you like some tobacco?

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Well, as a rule I don't partake of such fineries

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but I'll not affront you, as you're a paying guest.

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Aye, finest Bright leaf.

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I've seen it growing...

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..from the Mississippi Delta

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to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee.

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America?

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Aye, but yon's a dry tale for such a wet night.

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HE SWALLOWS AND SIGHS

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HE SNIFFS Aye, America...

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..with its endless rolling prairies..

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..like great seas of grass.

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Where a body might walk for a week

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and not catch sight of another critter.

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And at night the stars are so bright

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they look to be no more than a dozen yards above your head.

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What took you there?

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Dealing, good sir.

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I have treasures the likes of which you've never dreamt.

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In my pack are knives from Louisiana that are so sharp

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they could cut iron like green wood.

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Don't all tinkers carry a sharpening stone?

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I'm no tinker, sir.

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But for good people like yourselves that has took in a poor soul

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lost on the road...

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I'd be willing to part with one or two articles of rare value

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for next to nothing.

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What would you say to a bonny brush for the lady, or maybe a...

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..gentleman's pipe for yourself.

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I'd say we have no need for such geegaws.

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But you will remember the money you have promised.

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Don't worry...

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you'll have your money in the morning.

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I suspect our lodger might leave us with a slater or two.

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I think we should have asked him for a few more shillings.

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Don't fear. I plan to ask for plenty in the morning.

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Yon codger has no notion of parting with money.

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He has done nothing but hoodwink and gull us

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since he landed at our door.

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He will not set foot back over that door unless he pays.

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What if we were to take what we're owed, and maybe a bit more as well?

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Instead of having to beg for it.

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That's daft talk.

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He would know something is wrong as soon as he lifts his pack.

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Not if we put something in.

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What about when he opens it?

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By that time he'll be long gone.

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Anyway, no-one'll take heed of that old man.

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We could get rid of gear in town and in a few days be gone.

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Where? The Carolinas.

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I don't know.

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That's your trouble, John, you know nothing.

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DOOR CREAKS

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SCORE RISES

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GROANING AND CHOKING

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PEDLAR GROANS

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JOHN COUGHS

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PEDLAR GURGLES

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SHE SCREAMS

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THUD AND SQUELCH

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PEDLAR CHOKES AND GROANS

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PEDLAR STRUGGLES FOR BREATH

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Ahh!!

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DOOR SWINGS IN THE WIND

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We have to get him out.

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Ahh!

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He's too long!

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He's too long!

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SHE WHIMPERS

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HE GRUNTS

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THUDS AND SQUELCHING

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HE GRUNTS

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HE PANTS HEAVILY

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Gather up the legs and knife, and put them in the sack.

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Stitch the top and I'll get the cart.

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Where are you going to bury him?

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The far side of the brae.

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HE GRUNTS

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HE GRUNTS

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HE GRUNTS

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It's done.

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We can put it behind us.

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There's a new start here.

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I hope you're right.

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It's all rubbish.

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It was all for nothing.

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We could get a few shillings for the brass and copper.

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Nothing...

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It would be something for the tin.

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Leave it alone, Sarah.

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There's folks will set up tickets for those without the means to pay.

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I hear they're willing to give passage for indenture.

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Maybe we could...

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For the love of God, woman, hold your wheesht!

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There'll be no more talk of America in this house.

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BIRDS SCREECH

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SCREAMING

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SPOON CLINKS

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Will you not take a few mouthfuls?

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John... I was down at the burn today.

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There was a bag in the water.

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What kind of bag?

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A sack. Stained with blood.

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You've not been yourself. None of us have.

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But we'll get through.

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Aye.

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Are you for coming to bed?

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I'll not be long. Go you on.

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WOOD SHIFTS

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RATTLING NOISE

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Sarah. Do you hear that?

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It's the wind, man. Go to sleep.

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John?

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John?

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John! John!

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John, John, what are you doing?

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There were tracks!

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Tracks?

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It's all right... We're not near all right!

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John, we have to put it behind us!

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It'll not let me!

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It'll have to let you!

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We're not on our own anymore.

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Is there nothing you should be doing?

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FURNITURE SHIFTS

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John?

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John?

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John!

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SHE WEEPS

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John...

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We have ships leaving every other week for New York.

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Passage is seven pounds.

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I'm told you can set up a ticket for someone without the means to pay.

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Perhaps a way could be found. For someone not afraid to work.

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I'm no stranger to work.

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If you're willing to sign a contract,

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there'll be a ticket waiting for you on the next ship out.

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Mind, it will be a seven-year contract.

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And the work will be hard.

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BELLS TOLL

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Mrs Campbell?

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Aye.

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CHILDREN CRY

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It'll be all right.

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In the wild woods of America, her weary feet she set...

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But Stumpy was there first, they say...

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and haunted her to her dying day...

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WOOD CREAKS

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SHE GASPS

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And he haunts her children yet.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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Stumpy's Brae is a dark, chilling and gruesome tale of temptation, murder and revenge.

After their meagre life savings are unjustly taken from them, a poor peasant couple decide, one stormy night, to offer shelter to a mysterious pedlar in exchange for money.

What happens next has strange and horrifying consequences with a supernatural twist.