This is the full script for Only Fools And Horses Special – The Frog’s Legacy.
“The Frog’s Legacy” is the sixth Only Fools and Horses Christmas Special. It was first broadcast on 25 December 1987. The Trotters go in search of hidden gold, and who is Rodney’s Father?
The Frog’s Legacy Full Script
STUDIO. INT. NIGHT. NAG’S HEAD.
Del and Rodney are at the counter. Albert is seated at a table nearby. Trigger is chatting to him.
Del – (Calls) Michael – Mike.
Mike, bored with Del’s efforts to sell him something – anything, approaches Del.
Mike – What is it now?
Del – This is your lucky night.
Del produces a brochure of a Rajah computer.
Del – (Cont’d) What about that for a portable computer, eh, Mike? It’s got 64K, UHF output, a megabite disc-drive, it’s got ROM, it’s got RAM, it’s got them, red and green lights, everything!
Mike – What do I want with a computer?
Del – What does he want with a computer? Everyone’s got a computer these days!
Mike – Have you got one?
Del – Have I got one?
Rodney – He’s got twenty five!
Del – Yes, thank you, Rodney! Michael, this particular
model retails at three hundred and ninety nine pounds of the realm. I’m giving it to you for one hundred and fifty, I’ll even chuck a joystick in. See? You can process all your data.
Mike – And what exactly does that mean?
Del – Well it means you can… you can… tell him what it means, Rodney. (To Mike) He’s taken a course in this, he came top of his class.
Rodney – Well, in ‘layman’s’ terms it means you can, em, well, you er, you can record all your business deals.
Mike – I spend half my life trying to hide my business deals. So the last thing I want isto have ’em all recorded on a floppy bloody disc! I’m not interested. Ask Trigger.
Rodney – Trigger? With a computer? Do me a favour, he’s still struggling with light switches.
Trigger sips his beer (a full pint) and reacts to its weakness.
Trigger – Try that, Albert.
Albert – (Sipping the beer) Last time I tasted something like that was when I was in Egypt.
Trigger – Yeah? What was it a local brew?
Albert – No, I fell in the Nile.
Trigger – Here, Mike, I ordered beer!
Mike – Don’t try’n be funny with me, Trigger. I’ll tell you this much, I’ve had certificates for my beer.
Trigger – Yeah, I’ve had a few days off work with it as well!
Del and Rodney move towards a table.
Del – Bloody computers. I bought thirty of the things, I’ve only sold five.
Trigger – Well that’s not too bad, Del.
Del – Not too bad? I’ve had ’em a year and a half!
Rodney – Our sales campaign suffered badly when the local office of fair trading announced to the press that they don’t work.
Del – They do work, Rodney! You’ve just gotta fiddle around with ’em a bit.
Rodney – They don’t work properly!
Trigger – You know about this sort of thing, Dave?
Rodney – As it happens I do. Recently I took a computer course and the adult education centre.
Albert – And failed!
Rodney – I didn’t fail!
Trigger – What, you passed?
Rodney – No, I didn’t actual pass either. The man in charge said – in not so many words – that I should concentrate more on the theoretical side than the actual keyboard area.
Del – What he actually said was, ‘Keep your bloody hands off my machine!’
Rodney – Thanks for being so encouraging, Del! If I could pass that course and get my diploma I might be able to get a real job, working as a real company employee, instead of hanging round with the deadly duo, you and that suitcase! (To Albert and Trigger) D’you know what he’s had me doing today?
Rodney produces one of the inframax massagers.
Rodney – (Cont’d) This in an infra-red massager, cures rheumatics and all that. He’s had me hobbling through the marketlike I’ve got bad lumbago. Then ‘Healing Hands Trotter’ spots me and cures with his ray-gun in front of all the punters. He used to be a cowboy now he’s a medicine man!
Del – Oh shut up you tart! You’re just narked ‘cos you had a hole in your vest! (Checks his watch) Anyway I can’t hang around. You know that chop-suey house down by the station? The one we decorated? (Standing up) They’ve gone bust and they’re auctioning all their gear tonight, so I’ll see you later.
Del moves towards the entrance, as he does so we see Mr Jahan enter. He wears a blazer and old school tie. He scans the bar, obviously looking for someone.
Del – (Spotting Mr Jahan) Oh my God!
Del turns and starts to walk in the opposite direction.
Mr Jahan – (Calls) Mr Trotter!
Del – (Delighted) Mr Jahan! What a pleasant surprise. What brings you in?
Mr Jahan – That computer you sold me last month is still not working.
We see Mike react.
Del tries to quieten Mr Jahan.
Del – No, no, I’m sure there must be a simple explanation.
Del leads Mr Jahan over to a table. They sit down.
Del – (Cont’d) Let’s discuss it over a drink. What can I get you, Mr Jahan?
Mr Jahan -Something non-alcoholic.
Del – (Calls to Mike) Pint of your best bitter, please, Mike.
Mr Jahan – I have a business to run, Mr Trotter. I bought the computer, at your suggestion, in order to streamline my business. So far your computer has managed to destroy my accounts, wipe out my entire annual stock records and set fire to my curtains.
Del – You must be pressing the wrong button. You see Mr Jahan, it’s as important for the computer to get used to you as for you to get used to the computer.
Mr Jahan – Are you suggesting there is a personality clash?
Del – No, no. What I mean is we are talking outer-limits hi-tech. That computer was used in the American space shuttle.
Mr Jahan -But it blew up!
Del – I don’t mean it was the same computer. Although that would explain why it’s not working too well! Trust me, Mr Jahan. Give it a bit of time and I guarantee you that one of these days you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.
Mr Jahan – I’ll give it one week then I’ll be back to see you.
Del – That’s the spirit, you know it makes sense.
Mike arrives at the table with drinks.
Del – (Cont’d) Thank you Michael. Anyway, I thought that young fella who works for you was a computer bofin.
Mr Jahan – Oh he has resigned. Said the work did not agree with him.
Del – They don’t know they’re born half of ’em, do they?
Mr Jahan – I have placed ads in the local paper and at the job centre, but all to no avail. It’s not a difficult job and I pay good wages.
Del turns and looks in Rodney’s direction.
Del – Yeah, it’s not gonna be easy, Mr Jahan. I mean you’re looking for a young man with plenty of drive and enthusiasm.
Mr Jahan -Not really.
Del – A couple of GCEs wouldn’t go amiss though, would they?
Mr Jahan -It is not a necessity. Basically I a looking for someone who can walk.
Del – That’s what I mean, you’re talking top-notch. Most people of that calibre have gone off with the braindrain No, it’s gonna be difficult… Pot pourri, pot pourri! This is your lucky night, Mr Jahan. I may have the perfect person for you.
Mr Jahan -Really? Who?
Del – My very own younger brother. Enthusiastic, and he’s got GCEs in maths and art. Since he left Cambridge he’s spent most of his time wheeling and dealing in the commodities market. All the headhunters have been after him from the Bank of England to ICI but he fancies something a bit more local.
Mr Jahan -Can he walk?
Del motions with his hands as if dodging round tables.
Del – Dashes about all over the place.
Mr Jahan -Would he like to discuss it with me?
Del – No, no, I’ll do that for him. How much you offering?
Mr Jahan -A hundred.
We cut to the table of Rodney, Albert and Trigger. Mike has now arrived at Rodney’s table.
Mike – Del Boy’s got something going over there.
Rodney -That means someone’s gonna suffer.
Rodney smiles at the fate of this anonymous person.
Trigger – Talking of suffering, my niece is getting married next Saturday. (To Rodney) You remember little Lisa, don’t you? She came up last year. She was the one who arranged for Del Boy to have a go on the hangglider.
Rodney – Oh yeah, I liked her.
Trigger – Well she’s invited you all down to Hampshire for the wedding.
Mike – Well that’s very nice of her, Trigger. Tell her I’d be delighted.
Trigger – (To Albert andRodney) You two are coming, Del’s accepted for you.
Rodney – He’s accep… He’s something else ain’t he… Hold on, I thought Lisa was getting married last year?
Trigger – (Slightly embarrassed) Yeah, she was. Then she found she wasn’t.
Mike and Albert catch on after a tiny pause.
Mike and Albert -Oh!
Rodney – Wasn’t what?
Albert – You got a pencil and a bit of paper, Mike?
Rodney now catches on and performs a pregnant gesture.
Rodney – Oh!
Trigger – Yeah. Well now she’s found he is again. Should be good though. A day down by the coast, nice little drink afterwards. Talking of drinks, I’ll get these in.
Trigger moves to the bar. We se Mr Jahan leaving. Del arrives at Rodney’s table.
Del – Rodders, this is your lucky night! I’ve only been and got you a job.
Rodney – (Without hesitation) I don’t want it!
Albert – What d’you mean you don’t want it? You only just said that you’d like to get a job.
Rodney – Yes, but not from him! I’ve had some of his little ‘jobs’ in the past and I am here to tell you that he’s no Brook Street Bureau!
Del – That’s charming innit? After all my time and effort that’s the thanks I get! This wasn’t just a job, Rodney, it was a career move!
Rodney – But I haven’t got a career.
Del – But you could have had one! And it’d been moving! And it would have been some wages coming into the flat. We are brassic at the moment.
Rodney – Yeah, some of your novel, money-saving devices are in evidence – again! So what’s the job?
Del – Well you’re not interested, Rodney, so it’s purely epidemic innit?
Albert – What sort of job was it, Del
Del – He would have been a trainee computer programmer! Eventually. It was mentioned that the successful candidate would – with endeavor – attain executive status.
Rodney – Well… I thought, sort of, well I thought I’d be humping boxes round and all that. I didn’t know it was trainee executive.
Del – He mentioned your CV. How bad’s that eh? Nice little Citroen.
Rodney – No, I think he might have been referring to my curriculum vitae.
Albert – Well that’s no problem, there’s no heavy lifting involved.
Del – Well, he’d have to start at the bottom of course.
Rodney – Of course. Doing hat?
Del – Well, em, basically it’s kind of… em, kind of delivering! Only to begin with though! And it’s ninety pound a week in your hand, no tax, no nonsense!
Rodney – But if I’m working for cash in hand I’m not really an employee!
Del – It’s only for a trial period! So what do you say?
Rodney – Where will I be working?
Del – D’you know that new office block in Wilmot Road, the one with all the smoked glass and lairy cars?
Rodney – Where all them young birds come out of at lunchtime?
Del – That’s the one.
Rodney’s head is filled with the idea of leather chairs and mini skirts.
Rodney -Yeah, I know it!
Del – Well, right opposite it there’s an alley.
Rodney – (The balloon deflating) An alley?
Del – Between the undertakers and the Light of Nepal restaurant. Well, at the bottom of the alley there’s a yard. Pop your head in there Monday morning and ask for Mr Jahan and he’ll give you your duties and uniform. Is that the time? Gotta get down the Chinkies before the auction finishes. See you in the morning.
Rodney – Why would a trainee computer programmer need a uniform?
Albert – Dunno, son…
Albert starts laughing at Rodney. One of those slow burn laughs.
Rodney – I don’t know what you’re laughing at, Unc. Don’t you see what this means? You’ve just been promoted to the bloke in the market with the bad back!
Albert’s laugh die.
INT. SAY. FOYER OF RECEPTION HALL.
A set of open doors lead through to the main hall. All we can see of the main hall is the end of the dining table with a waitress putting the final touches to flowers, glasses, etc. (This is purely background to suggest where the wedding breakfast will be held). Coming off the foyer is a corridor leading to an entrance or some kind of cloak area where a semiprivate conversation could be held.
We also have a set of French windows overlooking the open countryside. (We must emphasize we are in the country)
We have two tables joined together and bearing a pile of presents. Two presents are placed apart from the rest. The first present is very neatly wrapped in tasteful and expensive wrapping paper and complemented by a large silk bow. (This is the Boyces’ present)
The second present is wrapped in a rather cheap paper and is very untidy, as if a heavy handed man has wrapped it. (This is the Trotter’ present)
Andy, the groom, and his male relatives are wearing orning suits. Lisa’s male relatives are wearing Burtons’ suits.
As we come up on scene Lisa (in wedding dress) and Andy are receiving their guests who are in a queue. Most of the guests have been received and are standing around sipping sherry and awaiting permission to enter the main hall.
We see Albert staring out of the window. The vicar goes to greet Andy and Lisa.
Vicar Congratulations, Lisa, and you too Andrew. My very best wishes for your future happiness.
Lisa Oh, thank you Reverend.
Andy – Yes, thank you very much, sir. It was a lovely service.
Vicar – Why, thank you. And who knows, in a year or two from now we could all be back in church celebrating the christening of your first born.
Lisa and Andy look at each other.
Lisa – (Quietly to Vicar) Actually, my Mother wants to talk to you about that.
Vicar – (Reacts) Oh… Oh yes… I see.
Andy and Lisa wander away.
We see Del exiting from main hall eating a piece of brown bread and butter he has just taken from one of the tables.
Del calls, as if he’s addressing a life-long mate.
Del – Vicar!
The vicar reacts alarmed at the sound of Del’s voice. He would have liked to have avoided him.
Vicar – Ah, Mr Trotter, how nice. Thank you once again for the lift.
Del – Oh bain-marie, bain-marie, it’s the least I could do. I’m sorry it was a bit bumpy, but, there again, we didn’t have far to go. By the way, that computer I was talking to you about earlier. I left it in your vestry.
The Vicar reacts. He doesn’t want the computer.
Vicar – You left it in my vestry?
Del – Oh, please, it was no problem! I mean I had to clear it out the back of the van to make room for you! Now remember, in case the Bishop asks, they retail at three ninety nine, it’s yours for one an’ a half and a score off for cash. I can’t say fairer.
Vicar – But I’m not sure I have a need of a computer!
Del – You can have it on two weeks approval. I mean, if I can’t trust you then who can I trust? Ask and it shall be given, that’s my motto. (To someone out of vision) Hello there, turned out nice, didn’t it?
Del moves out of shot leaving a bewildered vicar.
We cut to Albert at a window. Rodney joins him and hands him a sherry. It’s been a nice day and Rodney is feeling particularly benevolent and there is a nice ‘family’ atmosphere between him and Albert.
Albert – (Taking the sherry) Thanks, Rodney.
Rodney – What are you doing over here on your own?
Albert – Just reminiscing. (Gesturing to countryside) This used to be my old stamping ground. Portsmouth’s only a couple of miles up the road there.
Rodney – Bet you had some laughs round here, eh?
Albert – Not half! The warning used to go out, ‘Lock up your daughters, Trotters back in port!’
We cut away to the bride, groom and queue. Trigger and Mike are chatting to the happy couple.
Trigger – (To Lisa) You remember Mike, don’t you? He’s the water-diviner from the Nag’s Head.
Lisa – (Kisses Mike) Of course I do. Hello, Mike, it’s lovely to see you again. This is Andy, my husband.
Mike – (To Andy) Congratulations, son. You will never regret what you did today. I should know, I’ve been married eighteen years.
Andy – Thanks a lot. Is your wife here?
Mike – No, we broke up in ’73. Anyway, well done.
Cut back to Rodney and Albert.
Albert – Finally the skipper said, ‘I know, we’ll try and hide in one of the fjords.’ So…
Rodney – (Cutting in) Albert, I think I might have heard this story. Did you sink?
Albert – Yeah.
Rodney – I’ve heard it!
Rodney walks away.
Del is standing a couple of yards away next to the table bearing presents. He has heard the tag-end of Albert’s story and is chuckling at Rodney.
Del – Why do you listen to him?
Rodney – I don’t know – a moment of weakness I suppose.
Boycie and Marlene approach.
Marlene – (Referring to reception) It’s a bit up-market, innit, Del?
Boycie – Mmmh, I was surprised to see you here.
Del – I am at home in all walks of life, Boycie. (To Marlene) Anyway, how are you, sweetheart? (Touching Marlene up) Woh!
Del and Marlene laugh.
Boycie – I don’t believe it! Will you behave yourselves! This is only an hyphen or two off a society wedding and you’re acting like you’re on a charabang trip to the lights.
Marlene – Oh shut up you snobby git!
Boycie – I am merely trying to conduct myself with a bit of decorum!
Boycie does a double-take on the Trotters’ present.
Boycie – (Cont’d) I assume that ‘bundle’ is from you?
Rodney – (Offended by his tone) Yeah, that’s our present.
Boycie – God, it looks like the bomb squad have had a go at it! And what have you bought the unlucky couple?
Del – It’s a thirteen piece dinner service!
Marlene is now worried about a clash of presents.
Marlene – But we’ve bought ’em a dinner service as well!
Boycie – I shouldn’t worry, Marlene, they’ll be no comparison. (Touching or patting their present) We got ours from Royal Doulton, they most probably got theirs from Dalton’s Weekly.
Del – (To Rodney) He’s something else, ain’t he? He’s got more front than Southend.
Marlene – No, but it is a lovely dinner service, Del. It’s got a hand -painted pattern depicting the changing seasons of the English countryside.
Boycie – He’s most probably given ’em that old crockery he bought at the Chinese auction.
Del and Rodney react deeply offended. Rodney’s expression now changes as he remembers the strong oriental influence of the crockery.
Del – (To Boycie) How dare you! What sort of bloke d’you think I am?
Boycie – Well I wouldn’t put it past you. Shall we circulate, Marlene?
As they walk away we hear Marlene in background.
Marlene – Bloody ‘ell, Boycie, we’ve been round more times than a break dancer!
Rodney – Did our dinner service come from the bankrupt Chinkies?
Del – No it didn’t! I swear to you on my life!
Rodney – Well those plates had an awful lot of Pandas and Pagodas on em!
Del – Alright, they did come from the Chinese take-away. Look, we’ve been a bit strapped for money recently! Anyway, they’re very nice Pagodas.
Rodney – No they’re not, they look more like prisoner-of-war camps! I mean how is it gonna make us look? Boycie and Marlene’s service depicts the changing seasons and ours contains scenes from Tenko!
Del – Yeah, I suppose you’ve got a point… Hang on a minute.
Del now removes his carnation and deliberately drops it to the floor. He bends down to pick t up and is now at eye-level with the two presents. Taped to the front of both presents are small envelopes containing congratulations cards. Del removes the two cards and swaps them. He now stands and surveys the room making sure nobody has seen. Rodney has witnessed it and is terrified that they might have been seen. Del nudges him.
Del – (Quietly) He who dares wins, Rodders.
Del wanders off into a room saying hello to a few total strangers.
INT. NIGHT. THE FOYER OF RECEPTION HALL.
The doors to main hall are still open but the dining tables have gone and been replaced by dancing guests and the sounds and lights of a disco.
The wedding presents have disappeared and been replaced by a couple of long trellis tables which act as a bar complete with optics stand.
Mike is behind the bar serving. Rodney, Trigger and Boycie are standing around bar chatting. Trigger’s Aunt Reen appears from corridor or wherever. She is about 60 and a cockney. Jovial, good natured, good hearted and went through the entire blitz without spilling a drop of gin.
Trigger – (Calling her)Aunt Reen. D’you wanna drink.
Reen – I’ll have a port and lemon. Better make it a small one, I’ve had my orders from young Lisa, I mustn’t get Oliver Twist in front of ‘his’ family. I don’t know who she thinks they are, big hats and no drawers most of ’em!
Albert exits from the main hall.
Trigger – (To Reen referring to Albert) Here’s a face from the past.
Albert recognises her immediately and smiles. Reen squints at him before recognition.
Reen – Albert Trotter? I don’t believe it!
Albert – Hello, Reeny girl, how you going?
Reen – I thought you went down with the Lusitania!
Rodney – (Quietly to Mike) Fiver says he did!
Albert – No, they tried but they couldn’t get me. How long you been living out this way?
Reen – I moved from Peckham in 1965. I couldn’t stand that estate anymore. It’s nice and peaceful out here and I don’t have to save up to get to the seaside. You must be retired now.
Albert – Yeah. I’m living back with the family, Joannie’s kids.
Reen reacts as if it is too much to ask for.
Reen – Del Boy’s not here is he?
Albert – Yeah, he’s in there having a dance. He’ll be out soon, he ain’t had a drink for four minutes. And little Rodney’s here as well!
Rodney – (With a dread) Oh no!
Reen – Rodney’s here? Oh the little love!
Albert indicates the group at the bar.
Albert – He’s over there.
Reen walks towards the group at the bar.
Reen – The last time I saw you you were still in your pram.
She now kisses an unsuspecting Boycie on the cheek, accompanied by a big hug.
Boycie – Who the bloody hell is this woman?
Rodney – (To Reen) No, no. I’m Rodney.
Reen – You’re little Rodney? Ain’t you got big? (Giving Rodney a big kiss) You don’t remember me, do you, darling?
Rodney – No.
Albert – This is Trigger’s Aunt Reeny. She used to be your mum’s best friend.
Reen – Oh yeah, me and Joannie, the terrible twins. D’you remember when your mum had that cleaning job at the town hall?
Reen – I used to look after you while she was at work – bath you and everything.
Rodney is cringing with embarrassment. Mike is enjoying Rodney’s discomfort.
Reen – D’you remember when I took you shopping that day in Woolworths?
Rodney – No.
Reen – As I was pushing you round you were picking things up off the counters and I didn’t know! When I got home and took you out the pram I found three bottles of scent, a packet of Weights and a Helen Shapiro record! (Laughing) So the next day I took you up Selfridges!
She now laughs even louder.
As her laughter fades she begins to study Rodney critically.
Reen quietly turns to Albert and is referring to Rodney.
Reen – I reckon the rumours were true, don’t you Albert? Joannie was never a hundred percent sure, but you can see the likeness, can’t you?
Rodney is puzzled by this. Albert is embarrassed.
Albert – D’you fancy a dance, Reen? I can still cut a rug with the best of ’em.
Reen – You keep your hands to yourself though. (To Rodney) See you later, love.
Albert and Reen move to the main hall.
Rodney – (To Mike) What was that all about?
Mike – Gawd knows.
Boycie – I remember her from years ago, she’s never been the full ten bob.
Rodney closes his eyes in embarrassment for Trigger.
Trigger – Oi, she’s my Auntie!
Mike – It must be a family trait then!
As Albert and Reen reach the doors to main hall so they virtually bump into Del as he exits. Del is jacketless and sweating from dancing. He is tucking his shirt flap back into his trousers.
Del – Be careful in there, Albert. Marlene is pulling all the blokes’ shirt flaps out.
We see Boycie’s reaction to this news. Del now spots Reen.
Del – (Cont’d) No… No, it’s not! Reeny Turpin!
Reen – Remember me, do you?
Del – Remember you, I’m still having nightmares about you! How are you, sweetheart? You keeping well?
Reen – I’m smashing, Del.
Reen has now seen Del’s rings and chains.
Reen – (Cont’d) I must say you’re looking very prosperous.
Del – Well, life has been good to us, innit, Rodney?
Rodney – Oh yeah, a non-stop Mardi Gras.
Del – Let’s have a sit down, eh? I’m feeling a bit creamcrackered after that dancing.
Del and Reen move to chairs.
Albert – (To Rodney) She sed to be a right little raver in her younger days.
Rodney – (Smiling at this) Yeah?
Trigger is a couple of feet behind Rodney.
Albert – They reckon during the war she had more yanks than Eisenhower.
Rodney and Albert laugh. Upon hearing the laughter Trigger turns and smiles as if he wants to be in on the joke.
Albert is now looking in Reen’s direction and so not spotting Trigger.
Albert – I heard the Normandy landings started from her scullery.
Rodney and Albert laugh again.
Trigger is at Rodney’s shoulder and is laughing.
Trigger – Who you talking about?
Rodney – Trigger’s Aunt.
Rodney and Trigger react.
We cut away to Del and Reen.
Del – So how long is it since I last saw you?
Reen – I moved from Peckham in ’65, so that’s nearly twenty three years! You said you’d pop down and see me.
Del – It’s been a bit tied-up, Reen, you know how it is, business and what have you.
Reen – He seems a nice kid, little Rodney.
Del – That boy has got a diamond where other people have got hearts. Clever kid an all, GCEs the lot.
Reen – But he’s had you in there to guide him, Del. He wouldn’t be in the position he’s in today if it hadn’t been for you.
Del – (Modestly) Well, you know, I’ve done my best by him. Kept my promise to mum.
Reen – She would have been so proud of you two. I think that’s why I moved down here. The old place changed after your mum went. I lost the best friend I ever had.
Del – Yeah, she was a lovely lady.
Reen – If things had worked out a bit better you and Rodney could have been millionaires by now. I remember visiting your mum in hospital and her saying to me, ‘If only I knew where he’d hidden it, Reen. My boys could be set for life!’
Del nods in agreement. He now reacts.
Del – Hidden? Hidden what?
Reen appears now quieter, assuming Del knows.
Reen – You know, the gold!
Del – What gold?
Reen – ‘His’ gold!
Del – Who’s ‘he’?
Reen – Freddy the Frog!
Del – Freddy the Frog? Who’s Freddy the Frog?
Reen reacts as she realises Del knew nothing.
Reen – You mean your mum never told you? Oh my Gawd, me and my mouth! Forget I said anything Del.
Del – How can I forget it? You might as well tell me, Reen, otherwise I’ll get it out of someone else.
Reen – It all happened a long time ago. She met him in about 1959.
Del – Met who?
Reen – Freddy Robdul.
The vicar is collecting his coat. Upon hearing the name Robdul he turns as if recognising the name. He then exits.
Del – Who’s Freddy Robdul?
Reen – That was Freddy the Frog’s real name. He was a villain from Rotherhyde, he wasn’t a nasty-type though, no guns or violence. He was a gentleman thief. Bit of a dandy was Freddy, loved French wine and paintings and what have you. He had a little holiday chalet down this way. They reckon when the police broke in the walls were covered with Monets and other originals.
Del -Yeah, yeah, but what’s this got to do with my mum?
Reen – Well, she, sort of… (Choosing her words carefully) ‘befriended’ him.
Del – Yeah, well, she was a friendly lady, weren’t she? Help anyone out.
Reen – Yeah. Well, she used to help Freddy the Frog out. Anyway, one day in August 1963 Freddy and a little gang broke into the vaults of a bank in the city. They got away with over a quarter of a million pound in gold bullion The rest of the gang got caught but Freddy – and the gold – got away. Well, a short time afterwards, while still on the run, he was tragically killed in a freak accident. When they opened his will he’d left everything he owned to your mum.
Del -What, including the Monets and originals?
Reen – Oh no, they had to be returned to their rightful owners. The same went for the gold except no-one knew where Freddy had hidden it. Then your mum left all her worldly possessions to you and Rodney – including the lost gold.
Del – If it was valued at a quarter of a million in 1963 it’s gotta be worth at least a million now! Maybe two! And it’s mine!
Reen – Yours and Rodney’s.
Del – Same thing! I’m a millionaire.
Reen – Yeah. Bloody shame no one knows where it is, innit?
Del – Yeah, it’s a bit of a choker. (Taking Reen’s glass) I’ll get us a re-fill.
As he moves to the bar he passes Rodney.
Del – (Cont’d) Rodders, I know you may find this hard to believe and it may come as a bit of a shock to you, but – you and me are millionaires!
Rodney – Oh good, perhaps we can take the magnet off the electric meter now.
He now nods his head as he realises that nothing has changed, they are still skint.
EXT. DAY. THE MARKET
We are at (or give the impression of being at) the far end of the market where the road joins a T-junction. Del is on the corner of Market Road and the more residential road. He has the trellis table open with the suitcase on top. He is trying to flog infra-red, hand-held massagers.
Del is spieling to a small crowd, indicating his back.
Del – Now in the past if the old Cilla Black was playing you up you’d have to stagger down to the quack’s to pay a two pound fifty prescription for a three bob tube of Algipan. But those days are over thanks to this revolutionary device – The inframax deep -penetration massager.
We hear a few giggles form a group of girls in the crowd.
Del – (Cont’d) No, no, you’re miles off. This is an osteopeadic machine which emits soothing infra-red rays right into the muscles and warms your pains away. Now if you tried to buy one of these up Harley Street they’d nip you for seventy to eighty pounds, but thanks to free-enterprise, bulk buying and a mate of mine who does a bit of smuggling, I can offer it to you good people for a mere fifteen quid.
There is little reaction from the crowd.
Del – (Cont’d) Come along now, I can’t be any fairer. You be glad you sprained your ankle with one of these.
At this point Albert appears from around a corner as part of the act. He is stooped with mock back pains as he hobbles through the crowd.
Del – (Cont’d) Alright, fourteen quid, that’s what I paid for ’em, snatch it off me. (To Albert) Excuse me sir, could you hurry along please, I’m tryna do some business.
Albert – Sorry, son.
Del – (To crowd and ignoring Albert) I don’t care if you’ve got back-ache, neck-ache, earache or any other ache, this little thing will cure it.
A woman in the crowd calls out to Del. Her tone is not accusing or suspicious but jovial and all part of the fun and interplay that builds between a good market spieler and his audience.
Woman – (Referring to Albert) Try it on him then.
Del – Eh?
Man in Crowd – Try it on the old fella.
Del – No, no, I don’t wanna do the batteries up.
We now hear light-hearted jeering form the crowd. ‘Go away’ and ‘Get off home’ etc.
Del – (Cont’d) (Referring to Albert) That might not be backache. For all you know it could be body-language.
Albert – No, it’s rheumatics, son. Suffered with it for years.
Woman – Try your massager on him.
Del – (Defiantly) Alright, I will.
Albert is now indicating the massager machine.
Albert – That soppy little thing won’t do me no good. My back’s been under experts! Confounded the medical world, my back has.
Del – Well, at least let me try, sir. It can’t do any harm. Let’s get your coat off. Nice and easy.
Del gently removes Albert’s duffle coat. Albert flinches a few times in pain.
Del – (Cont’d) (Referring to Albert’s medals) I see you’re a naval war hero.
Albert – Forty years before the mast fighting for King and country.
Albert snaps to attention and salutes.
Del – (Quietly to himself) He ain’t real! (Whispers to Albert) Groan, you daft old git!
Albert – Eh? Oh yeah.
Albert groans loudly and clutches the small of his back.
Albert – (Cont’d) Oh Gawd, my back!
Del – No sudden movements, sir. Not until I have applied the healing rays of the Inframax deep-penetration massager.
Del switches the machine on. Displays the machine to the crowd like a magician starting a trick. He now begins to rub the machine gently over Albert’s back.
Del – Can you feel the relaxing warmth soothing the tension and pain from your lumbar region?
Albert – Yeah, that’s very theraputic that is. I’ve never had this done to me before.
Del – Coming from an old sailor that’s saying something, innit?
Albert is now referring to the warming rays on his back.
Albert – Oh, that’s lovely. My back feels better already. (Now begins to straighten up) Look at that, I can stand up straight! I haven’t been able to stand up straight for years!
To emphasise his new found mobility, Albert goes right over the top and does a little tap-dance routine. Del turns away in disbelief.
Del – I don’t believe him! What is he doing to me?
The crowd is now laughing and dispersing.
Man in crowd – (To him mate and referring to Albert) He’s just a stooge!
Woman – He’s part of the act!
Del – No he ain’t! We’ve never met before, have we, sir?
Albert – Never, Del.
Del hurls the massage machine to the ground in anger. The crowd disperses and drifts away. Albert steadily approaches the fuming Del.
Albert – You told me to ‘get better’ in front of the crowd. Del Yes, but I didn’t ask you to do the third act of ‘Singing in the Rain’! You came round that corner looking like Old Father Time. One rub of me massager and you turned into Wayne Sleep!
Albert – Well, I’m not used to all this market spieling. Why didn’t you get Rodney to do it?
Del – Because Rodney started his new job this morning. He can’t be in two places at once. (Indicating suitcase, tables, etc) Right, clear this all up will you?
Albert is reluctant and is now mumbling to himself.
Albert – Innit bloody fair, eh? I fought a war for the younger generation.
Del – Yeah, but whose side was you on?
Albert begins closing the suitcase, folding table, etc. We see Trigger and his dust cart appear in background, he is sweeping round the corner of the T-junction.
Trigger – Del Boy, Albert.
Del – Wotchyer, Trigger.
Trigger – Good wedding weren’t it?
Del – Yeah, mustard.
Trigger – Lisa and Andy were double pleased with that dinner service you bought ’em. Must have cost a fortune?
Del – It was nothing Trigger. Anything to help the young couple.
We hear the bip of a car horn. We see Boycie pulling up in his Mercedes. He wears dark glasses and has a large cigar between his fingers (really flash). He stops the car in the centre of the more residential road and prepares to reverse into a space on the corner of the T-junction.
Del – Here comes Money!
Trigger – (Referring to Boycie) D’you see the crappy present he bought ’em?
Del – No, no I didn’t catch that, Trigger.
Trigger – Load of cheap old plates. Kind of thing you’d get in a bad Chinese restaurant.
Del – Well, that’s how he got rich, through being tight.
Trigger – Yeah, he’s always been tight, ain’t he?
Del – He’s the kind of bloke who’d buy a tin of baked beans on Tuesday ‘cos he fancied a bubble bath Wednesday.
Trigger nods in agreement. Boycie reverses into space and alights.
Boycie – Good morning, gentlemen. Another fine day in Gotham City. The wedding seemed to go well, Trigger, all things considered.
Trigger -Yeah it was alright, weren’t it?
Boycie – Did Lisa and what’s his name find time to look at my present?
Trigger – Yeah they looked at it – not for long though.
Boycie is bemused by Trigger’s last remark.
Boycie – (Referring to Del) And what about ‘his’ little gift?
Trigger – They put Del’s present straight in their display cabinet.
Boycie – (Horrified) Peasants!
Del – Talking of the wedding, there’s something I wanted to ask you two. Think back to the early sixties. Do either of you remember – Freddy the Frog?
Trigger -Freddy the Frog? No, don’t ring a bell. I remember Torchy the Battery Boy.
Boycie – Yeah, and what about Twizzle?
Boycie does the stretching, growing motions of Twizzle.
Del – This is something else! They’re from another planet!
Trigger now spots something n the distance.
Trigger – (Respectful tone) Hold up lads, hats off.
Del and Trigger remove their hats.
We cut to see a hearse carrying a flower covered coffin moving slowly along the road. We are at an angle whereby we cannot see the driver of the hearse, or front seat passenger, at this point.
Boycie – Albert, your mini-cab’s arrived.
Albert gives him a sneer.
We cut to see the funeral cortege. Behind the hearse (we still cannot see the driver or passenger) comes one official funeral car, behind this comes an old Renault and then a Cortina, both containing mourners.
We cut back to see Del, Albert, Trigger and Boycie (and a few other locals who have stopped to show their last respects).
Trigger now zeros in on something at the very front of the cortege.
Trigger – (To Del) Is that Dave?
Del – (Sheepishly) Yeah.
We cut to see Rodney walking slowly and mournfully in front of the hearse wearing the long-tailed coat and uniform of the official chief mourner (he carries his black top hat in hand); he is obviously feeling very self-conscious.
We now cut to the hearse where we see a white driver and Mr Jahan sitting next to him. They are both dressed in smart black undertakers’ suits. We cut back to Rodney who does a quick double-take as he spies Del in the crowd.
Rodney is seething and loathing. He tries to hiss the word under his breath but his anger is so powerful he cannot contain it.
Rodney – You git! You rotten git!!
Del holds a finger to his lips and indicates the cortege – reminding Rodney of his duties.
Rodney – (Cont’d) (To Del from across street) You didn’t tell me my new job was a chief mourner!
Del -Have some respect, Rodney.
Cut to interior of hearse.
Mr Jahan – (Referring to odney) (To Driver) What’s he doing?
The driver shakes his head. Cut back to street. Rodney is walking on in the middle of the road but is looking in Del’s direction.
Rodney – I’ll get you for this, you bloody well see if I don’t!
Del – Behave yourself, Rodney. You’re in a responsible position now!
Rodney – You just wait, Del! You just wait!
Rodney turns to the front and walks on a few paces. He now stops as he realises he has led the cortege into a no-entry street. He holds his hand out for the cortege to stop. We see all the cars pull to an abrupt halt, not actually crashing into each other but getting too close for comfort. We hear a couple of tiny screeches of tyres.
Mr Jahan opens the passenger window of the hearse.
Mr Jahan – (Calling to Rodney) Why are you taking us down there, Rodney? It’s a no-entry!
Rodney – Yes, sorry, Mr Jahan, I was talking to my brother and I… Sorry!
Rodney calls out to a car at the back of the cortege.
Rodney – (Cont’d) If you could back up a little bit, please.
We cut to Del.
The last car in the cortege (the Cortina) has stalled and as the driver tries to re-start the engine we can hear the battery running down.
Rodney is running up towards the car.
Rodney – Would you mind backing up a bit, please? (To Driver) What’s the trouble?
Del – I can’t stand it any more. What a plonker!
Del turns and disappears into the crowd.
Boycie – Yes, I’m finding this very upsetting as well.
Trigger – D’you know the bloke in the hearse then?
Boycie – No, but I know the bloke in the Cortina, I sold it to him last week.
We cut to cortege. Rodney is now calling to the occupants of the official mourners’ car and the old Renault.
Rodney – Would you mind giving us a push please? It won’t take a moment. (Calling down towards hearse) Sorry, Mr Jahan!
STUDIO. INT. NIGHT. THE TROTTERS’ LOUNGE.
Albert is alone in the lounge and reading the newspaper. From the bedroom area we can hear Del and Rodney arguing.
Rodney – (OOV) You’re a liar, Del!
Del – (OOV) Rodney, I swear to you I didn’t know what your duties would be, Mr Jahan never told me!
Rodney – (OOV) Didn’t know, my arse! You just set me up for that job so that I could bring some money into the flat.
Del – Well every little helps, Rodders. Anyway that black suit looks really good on you.
Rodney – No it doesn’t! I saw my reflection in a shop window and I looked like a wand! You said I’d be a trainee computer programmer!
Del – And are you not programming his computer?
Rodney – Oh yeah, I’m programming the computer. I’m also an apprentice pall-bearer, a fully-fledged chief mourner and I have to go and get the sandwiches!
Albert – Long as you’ve got job-satisfaction, that’s the main thing.
Rodney – No, I have not got job-satisfaction! To be honest, I’m thinking of resigning!
Del – Well, I’d hurry up before he sacks you!
Rodney – That big traffic jam was not my fault! Alright, name one person who blamed me!
Del – Mr Jahad did.
Albert – The grieving relatives did.
Del – The Flying Eye did.
Rodney – I can’t help it if the differential on that Cortina seized up! I had to call the RAC, and they had to call for a tow truck which couldn’t get through.
Albert – Why?
Rodney – ‘Cos of the big traffic jam. Anyway it all went off alright in the end.
Del – Yeah, and you could have set a trend. Floodlit funerals could be all the rage! Anyway, I don’t want to talk about it anymore, I’ve got far more important things on my mind.
Rodney – Oh, we’re not going back to Freddy the bleedin’ Frog again, are we?
Del – Yes, we are Rodney. There’s a million quids worth of gold bullion out there, and it’s ours!
Rodney – You’re something else, you are. Some drunken old woman spins you a cock ‘n’ bull story and you fall for it.
Del – Reeny might have been a good time girl who likes the occasional Tizer, but she was never a liar. Besides, I’ve been and seen a few faces this afternoon and they’ve confirmed it. The robbery – the gold never being found – the lot.
Rodney – But how can you be certain it hasn’t been found? I mean at some time or another, every policeman and underworld figure in the country must have been searching for that gold.
Del – And what would they have done with it? They’d either have put it through a fence, which meant it became public knowledge within the month, or they’d have to smelt it down and sell it themselves, and that amount of bullion coming on the market causes ripples, the kind of ripples that’d be remembered for a long time!
Albert -And what if the police found it?
Del – I’m talking about the police! The chaps haven’t found it either. I had a chat with the Driscoll brothers.
Rodney – (With a chill down his spine) You went and saw the Driscoll brothers?
Albert – Why what they like?
Rodney – Smashing blokes, Unc. It’s like bumping into the two Ronnies – Biggs and Kray! They didn’t catch on why you were asking questions?
Del – No. You know what they’re like. A couple of years back some Guru said the world would end in a month. Danny Driscoll bet a grand it would. And he’s the brains of the outfit. Trouble was I had to keep referring to him as Freddy the Frog, I couldn’t remember his surname. It was Robson or something.
Albert – Robdul.
Del – That’s it, Robdul! I’ve been tryna think of that all day to… Did you know him?
Albert – Vaguely!
Del – Why didn’t you say?
Albert – Well, the first time I met him he was just a kid – eighteen, nineteen, a different age group from me. Then over the years I’d bump into him every so often, usually in one of the pubs near the docks. He was a likeable fella, always knew the latest jokes, and a generous bloke. He was very tall and handsome. Everyone liked him, specially the women. Used to fall over themselves for Freddy.
Del – Yes, yes, yes, but what about the gold bullion?
Albert – Well they robbed a bank in the city…
Del – Yes, yes I know all about that! I mean what happened after the robbery?
Albert – About a week after, Freddy an an explosive expert. bloke called Jelly Kelly, broke into a sub post office in Plumstead. Apparently they’d wired the explosives up and everything was going well, when – and no-one knows why – but Freddy the Frog sat on the detonator. They eventually found him on the roof… of a building across the road.
Del – And what about the other mush, Jelly Kelly?
Albert – Well, he was holding the nitroglycerine when Freddy sat down.
Del – So obviously he didn’t survive either.
Rodney – Well, if he did he’d be no good in a Mexican wave.
Del – Wherever I go it’s the same story – Freddy took the secret with him.
Albert – Maybe he shipped the gold abroad.
Rodney – There wouldn’t have been time. There was only a week between him doing the job and hitting the snooze-button.
Del – There’s something else that’s confusing me as well. If he was having an affair with a married woman on this estate, why did he leave all his money to our mum?
Rodney and Albert just stare at Del in disbelief.
Albert – (Shaking his head) It’s a mystery, innit?
Rodney – I’ll make some tea.
Rodney exits to kitchen.
Del – I was talking to one of the Driscoll heavies. He said he’d heard that Freddy had a son by this woman.
We cut to kitchen and see Rodney’s reaction. Cut back to lounge.
Albert nervously eyes the kitchen door, fearing Rodney might have heard.
Albert – Just rumours, Del. I’d take no notice of rumours.
Del – No. But if it were true the boy would be in his mid-twenties by now. Still, he don’t know who his real Dad is so he can’t make a claim on the fortune.
Rodney enters from the kitchen.
Del – Bloody good, innit, bruv? Here we are, millionaires, are we’re getting threatening letters from the milkman!
Del holds up a note from Express Dairies.
Rodney – (To Albert) This er, Freddy Robdul. Did he have any hobbies or pastimes?
Del – Hobbies or pastimes? We’re searching for his gold, not his tennis racket!
Rodney – No, I thought the more you know about him the more you’ll know how his mind works.
Del – Yes, good thinking, Rodney. He was a bit of an artist weren’t he, Albert?
Albert – (Very aware of Rodney) Yeah, good artist. They reckon if he hadn’t been a tea-leaf he could have made a very good forger.
Del – Well that’s got us a lot closer. It’s almost solved. I’m gonna sleep on it. I’ll see you two in the morning.
Del exits to the bedroom area. ‘Goodnights’ are exchanged. A long look is exchanged between Rodney and Albert.
Rodney – Did Mum ever…
Albert – They’re rumours, Rodney. That’s all, rumours. Good- night son.
Albert exits to bedroom.
Rodney sits alone considering it all.
Del – (OOV) Rodney. Don’t forget, you’ve gotta be down the morgue by half nine.
Rodney closes his eyes.
INT. DAY. NAG’S HEAD.
Del – We’ll finish this then we’ll pop down the market and have another go with the massagers. And this time, when I’ve finished operating on you, no tap-dancing! Just straighten up slowly like it’s a miracle.
Rodney in chief mourner’s gear appears from entrance on far side of bar.
Rodney – (Calls excitedly) Del! Got it!
Rodney is holding a piece of paper which is some kind of printed form with biro handwriting on it.
Rodney makes his way round the bar towards the table.
Del – (To Albert) What’s that about?
Albert – Dunno. It looked like ‘peace in our time!’
Rodney arrives at the table.
Rodney – This morning Mr Jahan asked me to transfer all his old paper files onto the computer.
Del – (Horrified) What, my computer?
Rodney – Yeah. (Handing Del the paper) Have a read of that.
Del – (Refusing to touch paper) No. No!! What is it, a summons?
Rodney – No. It’s one of Mr Jahan’s order forms from July 1963. Look who ordered a coffin to be specially made. One Frederick Robdul. It was ordered five weeks before the robbery, six weeks before he blew himself up. D’you see what it means?
Albert – He had a premonition.
Rodney – You berk!
Del – (Reading the paper) No, Freddy only paid for it, it was made for some bloke called Alfred Broderick. Who was Alfred Broderick?
Rodney – No, look at the two names closely. It’s an anagram.
Del – Oh yeah, yeah, I can see that. But who was he?
Rodney – No – bloody ‘ell – look, if you transpose – you know, mix up – all the letters in Frederick Robdul it turns into Alfred Broderick. In other words Alfred Broderick never existed, it’s just one of Freddies’ aliases.
Del and Albert study the paper.
Albert – He’s right an’ all.
Del – So he put…
Rodney – … the bullion…
Del – In the coffin and then got the Co-op to hide it for him or in this case, Mr Jahan.
Rodney – Right. It was all above board and out in the open. It was most probably paraded through these streets.
Del – I’ll bet the old Bill stopped the traffic for it.
Rodney – Yeah. Then it was buried with all the usual honours. All Freddy had to do was bide his time, then come back for it.
Albert – You seem to be forgetting something. This isn’t a family pet we’re talking about. If what you’re suggesting is right he’d have needed permission from the authorities – he’d have needed official documentation – and lots and lots of it! So where’s he get all that?
Del and Rodney look at each other. They have no answer.
Rodney – He always has to spoil things, don’t he?
Del – Wait a minute, I think I’ve cracked it. Back in the early sixties when you was a nipper, Mum used to work at the town hall as a… secretary.
Rodney – A secretary?
Del – Yeah. Well, part of her duties was hoovering out the Registrar’s department. Don’t you see, she could have got her hands on every document he needed and marked it with the official stamp!
Mr Jahan in his funeral director’s suit, enters.
Mr Jahan – Rodney, what are you doing here? You’re supposed to be helping me with the embalming.
Rodney – Yeah, sorry, Mr Jahan. I just took an early lunch.
Del – Sit down Mr Jahan. I want to have a chat with you. Now, Mr Jahan, Rodney found this in your files.
Del shows him some paperwork.
Mr Jahan – But this is confidential material.
Del – It just shows you how enthusiastic he is. He’s even taking homework to lunch with him. Do you happen to remember this gentleman, Mr Frederick Robdul?
Mr Jahan – Oh yes I remember him very well, a most charming man. My father had only just bought the business and Mr Robdul was one of my very first clients. The other reason it sticks out in my mind is because Mr Robdul ordered an extra-large casket to be made.
Del smiles as it all clicks into place.
Del – Did he now? Well, I suppose his friend, Mr Broderick, must have been an extra-large chap.
Mr Jahan – I wouldn’t know, we didn’t handle the funeral.
Del – (With a now faded smile) What?
Mr Jahan – We simply supplied the casket. Mr Robdul collected it in a van one night.
Del -You mean it was a take-away?
Mr Jahan – Mr Robdul told us it was to be a very private affair. We didn’t question his decision – we did not wish to intrude upon his grief and we needed the business.
Mr Jahan stands. Del pulls him back down.
Del – So you don’t know where it was buried?
Mr Jahan – I have no idea, as I say, it was a private affair. Now, I must return. (Standing up) Rodney, how long will you be?
Rodney – Back soon, Mr Jahan.
Mr Jahan exits. Del sits at the table, trance-liked and socked.
Rodney – (Cont’d) Well, that’s the end of that.
Albert – You’ll never find it now, son.
Del – Yes we will!
Rodney – Del, the gold has been missing for twenty four years. The last thing anyone saw of Freddy the Frog was on a radar screen, so what chance have we got?
Del – He must have buried it somewhere local. I mean he’d stick to an area he knew well. I tell you what we’re gonna do. I’m gonna see the flower man in the market and get us a codgel of tulips on sale or return. You’re gonna visit every graveyard and cemetery in the district and check the name on every headstone. Leave a flower on each one as if you’re a relative.
Albert – But there’s thousands of ’em!
Del – If anyone asks tell ’em you’re form a big family! You do the same thing on your travels, Rodders. It’ll be like a busman’s holiday to you. In the meantime I’m gonna check a few records at the town hall, churches, stonemason’s yards, that sort of thing. We’ll find it! You mark my words.
Rodney – Derek, I don’t want to be the prophet of doom or nothing, but I just get the feeling we’re wasting our time. Time that should be spent in more practical pursuits, like earning some money and paying some bills. We owe two months rent, we’re dinking tea without milk and the electricity board are calling round to see why their meter is going backwards.
Del – There’s food in the cupboard, ain’t there?
Albert – Yeah, thanks to my pension and Rodney’s wages. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to drive down to Hampshire and pick up that computer money off the vicar.
Del – Listen to me, that gold is here somewhere. It can’t just have disappeared, this is Peckham not the Bermuda Triangle. And for me to drive all the way down to Hampshire to collect a piddling hundred and twenty quid would be like admitting defeat. A sign that I’d give up all hope of ever finding my birthright. And that is not my style. When Del Trotter says he’s gonna do something, Del Trotter does it!
STUDIO. INT. DAY. CHURCH VESTRY.
The computer is on the table and plugged in. The screen shows lots of fizzy lines like interference. The vicar enters followed by Del.
Vicar – (Indicating the screen) You see what I mean Mr Trotter, I’ve tried everything but it simply refuses to work.
Del – Hmm, I see. Has the machine received a knock of any kind?
Vicar – Oh no, I can assure you.
Del – Oh.
Del now gives a heavy thump with the side of his fist. The screen clears and appears to be in working order.
Del – (Cont’d) There you are, that’s all it needed.
Vicar – Yes! Well, I’m not as technically minded as you, Mr Trotter.
Del – Sometimes these hi-tech advancements need a bit of encouragement. So, if you’ve got the money vicar, I’ll bid you farewell.
Vicar – I’m afraid I shan’t be needing the computer, Mr Trotter.
Del – What?
Vicar – As I told you at the wedding, I honestly couldn’t see what part a computer could play in the daily running of a small parish such as this. And my words have been borne out.
Del – Oh yeah, but if it had been working properly you might have seen the benefits.
Vicar – I’m very sorry, Mr Trotter and I’m very grateful to you for giving me two weeks approval on the machine, but I simply have no need for it.
Del becomes increasingly desperate and closes the door.
Del – I can’t take it back now, it’s been used.
Vicar – Well, of course it’s been used! You told me to use it!
Del – Yeah, but it’s been taken out of its protective wrapping.
Del points to a spot on the computer – the spot where he hit it.
Del – (Cont’d) And it’s had a whack on the side as well.
Vicar – But you just did that!
Del – Yes but I’m not a technician, I’m just the salesman. So what do I tell my head office? You’ve taken the protective wrapping off, messed about with it, let an unqualified wally repair it and now you wanna elbow it! I mean that was in lovely condition when I loaned it to you, but now it’s second hand… Look, I’ll be fair with you. Even though you were the one who naused it up I’ll let you have it at a second hand price. Gimme hundred notes and we’ll say no more on the matter.
Vicar – I don’t want the computer!
Del – But this machine is top of the range, this is the Silver Cloud of computers. And just think, there are thousands of people pouring out of London to live in new housing estates in this Parish. Your flock is increasing daily, you’re gonna need something to keep a check on ’em all!
Vicar – I only wish it were true. Unfortunately few of them seem to need the spiritual services of this church. It’s a pity more of them couldn’t be like our mutual friend Mr Robdul.
Del – What?
Vicar – I appologise, but I couldn’t help overhearing you and Mrs Turpin discussing Mr Robdul at the wedding.
Del – You knew Freddy the Frog?
Vicar – I’m sorry?
Del – Freddy Robdul. You knew him?
Vicar – Many years ago when I first came here to St Mary’s. He had a holiday home just a few miles from here. He’d always call in when he was down this way. A charming and very generous man. He donated the stained-glass windows. In fact he loved this church so much he had his parents buried here.
Del – Did you ever meet Freddy’s mate? Bloke called Broderick.
Vicar – Alfred Broderick? Yes, well I didn’t actually ‘meet’ him, not in the conventional sense. It was my sad duty to lay the poor man to rest. He must have been rather a large man, it took eight of us to carry him from the hearse.
Del – Yeah, he was an anagram! Could you tell me where you buried it – him? I’d like to pay my last respects.
Vicar – Why, of course. I’ll check the records.
The vicar begins checking a large ledger.
Vicar – (Cont’d) He must have been very close to Mr Robdal. I’ll never forget the way he constantly patted the coffin and contained his grief behind a smile.
Del – Yeah. We was all a bit choked. You found it yet?
Vicar – Ah, here it is.
Del shoves the vicar out of the way and reads the page of the ledger.
Vicar – About the computer?
Del – Don’t worry about the computer. Give it to the jumble sale, it’s a load of junk anyway!
EXT. DAY. THE CHURCH.
Rodney is reading. A puff of smoke drifts past his face. He looks at Albert.
Rodney – What do you put in that thing?
Albert – It’s me own recipe. Dutch tobacco. Navy shag and a spoonful of rum to keep it moist.
Rodney is revolted.
Albert – (Cont’d) (Taking a deep, deep breath) Smell the salt, Rodney?
Rodney – You put condiments in it as well?
Albert – I mean the ozones in the air. Takes me back. Funny how a smell can start the mind turning.
Rodney – (Looking at pipe) Not to mention the stomach.
Del now rushes from the church doors and comes towards the van. He has a quick, purposeful step. He is alive and raring to go. We should not be able to tell whether his mood is one of anger, determination or greed.
Del – Rodney! I know where it’s buried!
Rodney – What, you mean – here?
Del – Yes, here! Come on. (Indicating back of the van) Albert, fetch that shovel!
Del moves off quickly along the path leading to the graveyard. Rodney gives chase but never quite catches up to Del. Albert follows with the shovel.
Rodney calls after Del.
Rodney – (Hushed shout) Del, you can’t go digging up a grave in broad daylight!
EXT. DAY. AREA OF GRAVEYARD.
Del marches towards us with Rodney some yards behind and Albert further back carrying the spade.
Rodney – I mean, I know there’s nothing actually in it – except for gold bullion, but if anyone saw us doing it they might not understand!
Del – Come on!
EXT. DAY. ANOTHER AREA OF GRAVEYARD.
This is the edge of the graveyard and the perimeter is marked by a small fence (two foot high).
Del – (Stepping over fence) Over here.
Rodney and Albert follow.
EXT. DAY. AREA OF OPEN GRASSLAND WHICH LIES BEHIND GRAVEYARD.
Del walks out into the centre of the grassy area and stops. Rodney and Albert now join him.
Del gives a nod of the head which indicates nowhere in particular.
Del – That is it. That is where he buried it!
Rodney – (Surveying the grassland) Where?
Del – (Pointing) There!
Rodney turns in that direction. We pan to find ourselves looking at to sea. If possible it should be wide open ocean – no islands, headlands, piers or ships to mar the view – just miles and miles of sea. We are in fact upon a cliff top or high point.
Rodney – (Incredulously) A burial at sea? But why? How did he ever hope to get the gold back?
Del – There are a few minor things our dear Uncle forgot to inform us of, Rodney. He told us he met Freddy the Frog but he didn’t tell us where and how.
Albert – I met him when he was doing his national service in the navy.
Rodney closes his eyes as things begin to click into place.
Del – Yes, he was a sailor! And he also omitted to tell us why he was nicknamed Freddy the Frog. We assumed it was because of his love of all things French.
Albert – No, it was ‘cos he was a frogman.
Rodney closes his eyes again and lets out a low moan.
Del – Yeah, I know that now, the vicar’s just given me the full SP.
Rodney – (To Albert) Why didn’t you tell us?
Albert – Well, you know me. I never talk about my days at sea.
Rodney – Look, we knew that Freddy had a chalet down here by the coast. If we’d have also known that he was an ex-sailor and a deep sea diver we could have put two and two together.
Del – And saved ourselves a fortnight of creeping round every cemetery and churchyard in South London!
Albert – Well, if you knew he was buried at sea why’d you ask me to bring this shovel?
Del – (Grabbing the shovel) To whack you on the bloody head with!
As Del lift the shovel into the air, Rodney grabs it and stops him.
Rodney – Del, take it easy!
Del – Well, he’s given me the ‘ump, Rodney, he’s given me the right steaming ‘ump! (Staring out to sea) I mean, it’s beautiful, innit? He had all the kosher paperwork, a pukka ceremony with an authentic vicar. He even got two off-duty policemen to help carry the coffin to the boat!
Rodney – All he had to do was wait for the dust to settle, then come back with his frogman gear and dive down and get it. He must have known these waters well, most probably been diving here for years.
Del – It’s out there, Rodney, our legacy!
Albert – Nothing you can do about it now, Del.
Del – I’m not leaving it there! The sea shall not have it! I will bring it back to the surface! We can do it! I’ve got faith in you, Rodney!
Rodney – But how are we gonna… Me? What d’you men you’ve got faith in me?
Del – I’ll get you all the equipment, flippers, goggles, the works. You’re the only one in the family who can swim, Rodders.
Rodney – All I ever got was a fifty yard certificate at school.
Del – You’ve only gotta swim fifty yards – down!
Rodney – On your bike!
Albert – (To Del) Where you gonna start searching? You’re looking at five hundred square miles of ocean! It took ’em seventy years to find the Titanic so what chance we got with an outsize coffin?
Del, becoming most hysterical in his frustration and greed:
Del – There’s gotta be a way! He who dares wins! There’s a million quids worth of gold out there – our gold! We can’t just say Bonjour to it!
Del storms away from them leaving Albert and Rodney alone. Albert and Rodney stare out to sea. (Slight pause)
Rodney – Do I look like him?
Albert – It was just a rumour, son.
Rodney – Do I look like him?
Albert – Bit.
Rodney – I always felt as if I was different from the rest of the family. A bit of a cuckoo.
Albert – It was just a rumour!
Albert walks away leaving Rodney alone.
Rodney looks out to sea.
Rodney – Freddy the Frog! Killed himself by sitting on someone else’s detonator! The last anyone saw of my Dad was on a radar screen!
Rodney smiles to himself.
Rodney looks up to the sky. We sea a seagull gliding above. To Rodney, the artist, it represents the free-spirit.
Rodney smiles to himself. He now feels completely at one with the world and himself. He turns and walks past Del.
Rodney – Come on, let’s talk about it over a pint.
Del – Yeah, alright, bruv.
Del points out to sea as though as if threatening it.
Del – (Cont’d) But in the words of General MacArthur, ‘I shall be back soon!’
They walk towards us. Rodney steps over the small fence, followed by Albert. Del is following them.
Del – (Cont’d) I am not leaving our birthright down there in Davey Smith’s locker. No way, I tell you Rodders. This time next year we’ll be millionaires.
They turn and walk back to the car.