Period drama series. Father Brown investigates when a girl is found left for dead at a boys' school fete.
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Ladies and gentlemen, Reverend Father, parents, guests and boys,
welcome to Kemble Martyrs' end-of-term fete.
I hope you are liberally partaking of the refreshments on offer.
Now, as you know, the school has a great tradition of producing
young men of note, honour and character.
Qualities which I know
will be on display today in all our young charges,
be they serving refreshments, competing,
or exhibiting dazzling displays of cricket.
And which will continue long after my imminent retirement.
Epitomised by the school motto - Tantum optimum satis!
-Tantum optimum satis!
"Only your best will do."
And, on that note, let the games begin!
I'm sure the headmaster's grandson will shine.
According to Minnie Robins, he's a rising star in all things athletic.
Damned cat's in again. No business in my school.
-Get someone to shoo it off.
-Of course, Headmaster.
Oh, look! An egg-and-spoon race. If you're game, Father...?
I'd be delighted to cheer you on.
But I think Mrs McCarthy may give you a run for your money.
I'll have you know I was a champion egg-and-spooner in my day.
Oh, really? In what century?
-Oh, sorry, Father. Did you want one?
Well, the meek will inherit the Earth,
so I suppose a macaroon on top is a bit much to ask.
How about one macaroon...and a handshake
in exchange for your discretion?
Ah. As long as the discretion works both ways.
-And now, a classic off-drive.
Very good form, though!
Let's have one of your sweep shots please, Daniel.
Come on, bails on. Quick as you can.
Some fur in my macaroon.
A sweep shot, ladies and gentlemen.
Every batsman has an off day.
And a classic leg glance, please!
Well, that concludes the cricket demonstration.
Bad luck, Daniel.
Next up, the visitors' egg-and-spoon race.
A little more elbow room, if you don't mind.
You're trying to knock my egg off my spoon.
-If you can't handle the heat, Mrs M, then get back to the kitchen.
Come on Mrs... Bunty!
FATHER BROWN CHUCKLES
Mrs McCarthy adopted her superior gliding technique.
Deputy Headmaster, what are you doing here away from all the fun?
Chasing the infernal cat that keeps getting in from YOUR school, Deputy Headmistress.
No wonder you look hot and bothered.
Darling, why not talk to Sefton about the headship today?
It's perfect timing, if we want to start planning for a date.
And other little things.
-It's hardly the time or place.
-Seize the day!
-No... Sheila. No!
Father, what happened?
Come on, ladies and gents, let's clear a path, please.
Padre, how unusual to find you sniffing around a catastrophe.
I suppose you found the body?
Heavens preserve us, you're not actually saying that...
No. A serious head wound, but she's still breathing.
I found her, in the boiler room. Philip Hart, deputy headmaster.
And what were you doing in there?
Looking for a stray cat.
A cat? So, who is this girl?
I've certainly never seen her before. Sefton Scott, headmaster.
The girl's not from any boy's family.
-"The girl" is May Lewis.
-And you are?
BELL RINGS Sheila Barnett, deputy head of St Saviour's, next door.
May is one of our young ladies.
Who should never have been here in the first place!
-Typical St Saviour's laxity.
I suspect a simple accident.
Trespassing, Miss Lewis probably bashed her head on a pipe.
Inspector, I noticed a distinct scent in Miss Lewis' hair.
A smelly pipe, then. Thank you, Padre.
We'll get to the bottom of it once the area has been cleared.
Right you are, Sir. Ladies and gents, please.
She's in good hands.
Erm... How do you suppose she got here?
I don't know. She can be...
..wilful. Bit of a free spirit.
But she could have just been after the cat.
It's not the first time it's caused friction between the schools.
Do you think her room may provide a clue?
But as St Saviour's is a school for young ladies,
no men are allowed in the dormitories.
Yes, of course
She said "young".
And she said "ladies".
Both ideally qualified.
-Th-that's not yours.
No, it isn't.
But how do you know whose it is?
Oh, what beautiful gardens!
Oh! Passiflora caerulea, I think.
Passion flower, yes. Lovely.
Oh... If you'll excuse me, I must update the head.
The girls'll point you to May's room.
Oh, come on, Mrs M, do keep up.
Or do I have to commandeer a wheelbarrow for you?
I doubt very much you'd know how to handle a wheelbarrow.
C-can't you r-read?
I was just admiring the flowers.
Why the gloomy face? It was only a silly race.
It's just there's barely anything personal here.
Poor girl. Stuck in a cold little room.
Passion In Paris.
Well, it looks like she found ways to liven things up.
Yes. Well, there's not much else to do when you're dumped in a place like this.
Until you're kicked out and dumped in another one.
Yes, well, I suppose we've all had our schoolgirl indiscretions.
Not you, surely, Mrs M?
Oh, yes, yes - even me.
What are you doing in there?
I am searching.
Have you found Narnia yet?
No, I have not found Narnia yet.
But I have found this.
A diary! Top marks, Mrs M!
What does this mean, do you think?
No, no, apparently the girl just wandered in.
Nothing to do with the running of the school, I assure you.
Now, boys, say goodbye and then help Mr Hart tidy up.
Father Brown. No pressing parish duties?
None more pressing than the serious injury of a young girl, no.
No, of course.
But, with your reputation, I would prefer not to cause
unnecessary alarm over a tragic accident.
-I think she was attacked.
I'm not sure. But she was gathering snacks for two,
so she was meeting someone.
A Martyrs paramour, perhaps?
No, no, Father, you're mistaken.
Perhaps St Saviour's are happy to let their charges run around unsupervised...
We most certainly are not!
And we've had boys over our walls, too.
Not to mention all the stray cricket balls.
-Father, we found something.
-May's secret diary.
We encourage our charges to behave as young ladies.
-Guidance, apparently, they ignore. Absences here...
It's a pattern of dots that repeats.
Every 28 days.
The lunar cycle, perhaps?
A cycle, yes. But this pattern is two weeks late, meaning...
May is probably...
So, who do you think the father is, Father?
And what on Earth are we doing rummaging through cricketing... whatnots?
These stains are fresher still.
I'll take that, thank you, Padre.
The weapon used in the attack, I'd wager.
You thought it was an accident.
I just go where the evidence leads.
And it just so happens to have led me to "DG."
The moral values we impart to our boys...
-Are hardly unique to your school.
-..are beyond reproach.
-Is this your cricket bat?
Daniel Gates, I am arresting you on suspicion of attempted murder.
-I don't know her!
-There, you see?
-Your grandad can follow on.
-This is outrageous!
-My grandson would never involve himself with such a girl,
risk his bright future, let alone commit such a crime.
No Martyrs boy would.
Your grandson's bat was plainly the weapon used in the attack.
And if she was pregnant,
then it's his future that would be ruined by the scandal.
-Mind your head, son.
-I didn't do anything!
You didn't have your own bat for your demonstration,
hence your lapses in timing. So, where was it?
I don't know.
It was supposed to be out ready with my other gear, but it wasn't there.
And young Miss Lewis, where were you expecting to find her?
Daniel, if you want me to help you, you have to tell the truth in confidence.
We do not have much time.
Grandfather would have my guts for garters if he knew.
St Saviour's girls are out of bounds.
So, you used to meet her in the boiler room?
She'd leave me notes, but I didn't get one today
I had no idea she was pregnant.
But I would never hurt her. Never.
Do you think she'll be all right?
Like the Daniel of old, keep faith. The truth will set you free.
On your bike, Padre!
Just sheltering from the weather, Inspector.
I just wish I could do something useful.
You are doing something useful - watching over that girl.
Poor little thing - only a child herself.
By that Daniel, of all people!
Well, you did say "star of all things athletic".
That's enough, Penelope!
I'm sure Winnie Robins never envisaged anything like this.
Perhaps she was just lonely.
Needed to know someone cared.
And someone does.
Go on, get out!
Back on your own side! You and that damned cat.
Or what?! I'll give you what!
You'll give me...
-..s-six of the best?
Are you all right?
Er, polio. In infancy. Hardest fight of my life.
But you can't keep a good man down.
Daniel didn't do it, Father.
He couldn't have.
I suspect you may be right.
But you'd be wise to find him legal counsel.
Headmaster. Good news, Father. Apparently the girl's coming round.
That is good news.
Now perhaps Miss Lewis can tell us what actually happened.
Oh, I see. Well, thank you very much.
Apparently Father Brown has already left the school.
Oh, there you are!
-Is she awake?
-Not yet, but it can't be long now.
Are you all right?
But she just screamed!
I suspect someone's made another attempt on her life.
Highly doubtful, given that I have her attacker in custody.
There's no-one out there, Sir.
Why is the pillow on the floor?
She obviously had a nightmare,
knocked the pillow onto the floor herself.
-Are you all right?
Though, like you, I do have work to be getting on with.
Given recent events,
perhaps that's where we should each focus our attention.
What are you saying?
-If this is about earlier, perhaps it was bad t...
-It isn't. I'm sorry.
You deserve better.
Under Mrs McCarthy's watchful eye.
And she stirred momentarily, so the doctor is optimistic.
And the baby?
Well, actually, May's monthly clock has started ticking again.
So, we won't be hearing
-the pitter-patter of tiny feet after all.
I'm so sorry!
It's just a difficult time.
And my own clock has started ticking rather loudly of late.
Which is terribly selfish, when May is in such pain.
But thank heaven she's on the mend now.
But someone still means her harm.
And with Daniel in custody,
that means we have to look further afield.
I can't believe Jack would do anything violent.
How long has he worked at the school?
About a year. He doesn't say much,
but he's the best gardener we've ever had.
No sign of life.
Apart from the beautiful garden.
Perhaps we should try later.
Ah, no, we should check around the back.
< Hello, Jack?
Just a bit stuck.
We really shouldn't touch anything. It might be evidence.
Not his work, surely?
-He must have been such a tortured soul.
Jack is your classic maladjusted loner.
Fixated on this girl, and then unable to face his own guilt.
Ah, so you don't think this one's an accident, then, Sir?
Did you know him well?
Not at all.
-I told you Daniel was innocent.
You will release him immediately or my solicitor will file a complaint.
I am bound to follow the evidence.
And this particular piece of evidence compels me to release Daniel,
pending further enquiries.
Hardly that, given his flagrant disregard for school rules.
Illicit liaisons with this girl on school grounds. Deception.
He must be punished.
You can make your own deliberations about such matters
when, and if, you take the reins.
What deliberation? Rules are rules. Surely you don't intend to make an exception?
Do you remember me?
You're in hospital.
You're going to be all right.
But it seems you're not expecting, after all.
Oh. Course not.
Do you remember being attacked?
I know you were meeting Daniel.
And not for the first time.
No, I was after the cat.
Yes, I found the cat fur in your bag.
Nice wheeze! Like something I would have done.
You know, you can tell us anything.
Our lips are sealed.
I left him a note in his cricket bag for us to meet,
when I realised I was...late.
After that, I remember...
At first the police thought Daniel was responsible
because the attacker used his bat.
But now they think that Jack, the gardener, hit you.
Coming again for you, here...
..before he took his own life.
No. It couldn't have been Jack. He was lovely.
People are not always what they seem.
He was! When I got sick of being dumped at school
by Daddy and his new girlfriend,
he was my friend.
Let me watch him draw, play with his cat.
I thought I dreamt of him being here.
I remember something white.
And I couldn't breathe.
And then Jack's face.
A look I'd never seen. Desperate. Furious.
He was fighting.
So...someone else was here?
Said to symbolise Our Lord's passion and suffering.
I think Jack brought it here for you.
And surprised someone else.
You wait there.
I am tempted to complain to your Chief Inspector.
Who, incidentally, is an old boy of the school.
Apologies for any confusion.
Oh, Father, surely the case is closed now?
The police have their man.
Perhaps. But I suspect that their man knows one of yours.
Can you identify him?
No-one currently at the school, I assure you.
If you'll excuse me, I must speak with Daniel.
First Daniel, then Jack.
I haven't a friend in the world now.
You have me.
And you have me.
And me...if you want.
-You shouldn't be here.
To the store room, please, boys.
Please, whatever it is, whatever's going on, I'll stand by you.
I love you.
Sorry, Father, I can't leave the boys unsupervised.
May's awake. And well.
And she doesn't remember anything.
That's probably a blessing.
It must have been a shock for you, finding her in the boiler room.
I'm guessing that May and Daniel weren't the only people
fraternising between schools.
We had to keep it quiet.
Females are considered a distraction at Martyrs.
Staff have to set an example.
Not that it matters now.
I don't know. Perhaps it was with finding May,
but he seems upset.
Nothing like the man I know.
Can I show you a picture?
I'm just so glad you're all right.
I'm sorry I couldn't come any sooner.
I didn't think you'd be able to come at all,
now that everyone knows about us.
Wild horses couldn't hold me back.
What about your grandfather? He's still headmaster.
Not for much longer. Anyway, it doesn't matter.
I'm going to tell him I'm old enough to make my own decisions.
It's my life.
And you're my girl.
Yes, the pollen from the flowers, it's very strong.
-SHE CLEARS THROAT
All right, back to your form room, boys.
Such a shame.
A joyous day, ending in tragedy.
-Especially for you.
First on the scene of such a brutal attack.
And, of course, you know the man that the police now hold responsible.
What on Earth gives you that idea, Father?
Your reaction, when you saw his hand attachments.
And I found this amongst Jack's possessions.
It is you, isn't it?
Much younger, before you became deputy headmaster.
But why such anguish?
My first year as a master...
..on my way to class I saw a boy being disciplined.
Right here, through this very window.
-Put your hands back!
This boy - Sebastian - had a terrible stutter.
But spirit, and gifts.
He was an exceptional artist...
Discipline is important. We have a proud tradition.
Instilling responsibility, shaping character.
But this brutality, over nothing.
He was drawing in Latin class,
and he wouldn't stop stammering.
I saw the hope in his eyes, as he saw me.
And the despair, as I left them to it.
Still hearing him.
His hands being beaten.
His nerves broken.
So that he could no longer hold a pencil, or gardening tools,
without metal aids.
The Cat of Mastigatus.
It's not used these days,
but even the name still strikes terror into the boys.
Not sure I like the sound of it much.
It's a modified tawse, named after a cat-o'-nine-tails.
And Latin for "punishment".
But why such remorse today, after all these years?
Because of this.
"Tell the truth about the Cat."
I knew it was from Sebastian, but I didn't realise Sebastian was Jack until earlier.
He changed his name, to avoid the sounds he struggled with.
And now he's dead.
But that was a long time ago.
We have to focus on the boys here, today.
And discipline is a cornerstone of this school.
Discipline, honour, courage!
Where have you been?
Compounding your various transgressions.
I'd've thought you'd have learnt from all this trouble.
But now I hear you were at the hospital to see the silly girl!
-Nice girls don't behave like that!
An amoral, insolent girl with no respect for authority.
Remove your shirt.
I don't want to punish you, Daniel, but rules are rules,
and it's for your own benefit. Over.
This doesn't change anything.
I'm not going to stop seeing her.
Call me "Sir", boy!
You... You brought this on yourself.
Well? What are you waiting for?
And if you won't...
Did you not always teach us that discipline was everything?
You've inflicted these hideous punishments on generations of boys,
and you won't give that gift to your own precious Daniel?!
I know boys have suffered. Old boys and new.
But this is not the way.
You don't know suffering. Suffering makes a man of you.
A man of distinction, of courage.
Courage? To cripple a boy's hands?
To beat who knows how many others over the years?
-To shape them!
You shaped Jack into a shadow of what he might have been.
Violence toward the weak shows no honour or courage, it is merely bullying.
Like bludgeoning a young woman.
What are you talking about?
"An amoral, insolent young girl who showed no respect for authority."
But you said you'd never seen her before.
So, how could you possibly know that she was insolent?
You boasted about Daniel's prowess at cricket, and his golden future.
It must have been quite a blow when you found May's note.
So, you went to catch her, and found her insolent.
Caught in the act, you little harlot!
Sneaking into my school, leading my grandson astray.
You will never see him again.
He'll come to me, when he hears I'm carrying his child.
He'll come running then.
She was a little schemer,
So you hit her with a cricket bat.
That's why your display went awry, Daniel.
Your grandfather hit your friend with your bat.
And then he hid it with the others.
Only later, you realised you hadn't quite finished the job,
and that she might identify you.
So you tried again, at the hospital.
Only to be foiled by truly courageous Jack.
Helpless, when you killed him with the very aids he needed on his broken hands.
Hands broken by you
and your "shaping" with the Cat of Mastigatus.
JACK GASPS AND CHOKES
..the disgusting deceit...
..of making it appear that he had taken his own life.
I took hard decisions. For you!
That girl was looking to destroy your reputation, mine, the school's...
Everything I've built!
And the consequences?
Men have gone to the gallows for less.
12 good men and true will judge my motives.
He forgives all our sins, but only forgives those who truly repent.
Headmaster, for the sake of your immortal soul,
can you find no remorse?
Perhaps your God should show some remorse for his imperfect making.
I learned early never to rely on his pity, but my own mettle.
Yes, occasionally maybe I went too far,
but I built this school, the character of generations of boys.
Made you the man you are today!
If I truly was a man of courage,
I'd have ended your brutality a long time ago.
I didn't want you to throw away your future, Daniel.
This is my legacy.
Tell it to the judge. Maybe he's an old boy, too.
I never wanted this "golden future" they're all pushing me into anyway.
I'm not sure golden futures are what they used to be.
Or if I want the headship any more.
Perhaps the school's a lost cause.
Oh, I don't know. Nothing worthwhile is beyond saving.
Just takes a little courage.
Slow and steady.
What we want is an evenly mashed mixture,
not something that looks as if it's been fired out of a catapult.
I'm sure we have enough to feed the 5,000 by now.
And their goats.
There. Now, much as I'd love to continue...
What has you itching to get away so fast?
Wouldn't you like to know?
You have been absent without leave for over a week now.
Sneaking off to heaven-knows-where. Or is it heaven-knows-who?
Mrs M, now, you know I'd love to catch up, but...
What kind of mischief are you up to now?
Oh, you know - men to seduce, gossip to fuel. Toodle-oo!
And there was me thinking we'd turned a corner at last.
< Bye-bye, Bunty.
-Obviously she had somewhere terribly important to get to.
So, what did the former headmaster have to say for himself?
But I will keep trying.
Hopefully the essential goodness that is within us all will eventually win out.
And young May, how is she doing?
But Bunty is working her magic, cheering her up, every day.
Yes, I expect that's where she's gone to now.
Oh, yes. Yes, I expect it is.
Thanks for coming.
I was hoping to ask you something...important.
But first, you have to know what you'd be signing up for.
Someone has a spring in their step.
-Race you to the macaroons?
I thought we'd agreed to throttle back on the fast living for a while.
Oh, and Penelope knows all about fast living.
Except, of course, where eggs and spoons are involved.
May! How wonderful to see you back in the pink!
Oh! Looks like she's not the only one.
Oh, that is very good news!
What a corker!
Ladies and gentlemen!
As headmaster, I'd like to welcome you all to our fete,
which I hope, while we will never forget past tragedies,
will mark a new era of friendship between our two schools,
with our new ethos -
courage, honour and compassion.
Father Brown investigates when a girl is found left for dead at a boys' school fete.