Establishment shot: Madame Max’s table with yellow flowers. We have seen how she likes yellow flowers before (in all the scenes in her room these are there).
2. Master-shot: two women walking in through the door, dialogue happening.
Marie: “Now let us be quite clear about this, Mrs Meager.
Mrs Meager looks round her suspiciously.
Marie closes the door. “Mr Emilius lodged with you some time back. only after the murder, but you are sure he was back before the murder.
Mrs Meager startled from her absorbed looking round at these beautiful apartments: “Hmmm? Uh oh yes ma’am that is quite true.”
Marie: “Now we know he went to Prague and that he was back sometime before the murder happened.” Mrs Meager: “Uh yes ma’am back in the best room at 6 and 8 a week.”
Marie (very earnest). “Now Mrs Meager, I want you to think very carefully about this. Was there anything at all odd in Mr Emilius’s behavior? Anything anything before he went to Prague or after he came back.”
Mrs Meager (melodramatic expression, twisted and tight): “Odd?”
Marie: “Anything he may have said? Something in his room. Something you may have seen (she goes over to pick up a purse and bring it back to the table) in his room?
Mrs Meager: “Well, ma’am. there was just one thing.”
Marie (puts down purse ostentatiously). “Mmmm?”
Mrs Meager: “When he went away to that foreign part what you said he took his key with him.”
Marie. “Oh” (gestures Mrs Meager to sit down)
Mrs Meager (sitting) Ah which he hadn’t got no right ah seeing as how he wasn’t paying for his room while he were gone.”
Marie. “Well perhaps he was just forgetful.”
Mrs Meager: “Well that’s what he said later, ma’am, but he wasn’t usually forgetful. Anyways there was me and the front attic and any body else in the house there was just the one key between us all. That’s why I remember it so particular.”
Marie’s face (close up): “So you only had the two keys.”
Mrs Meager: “Yes, ma’am.”
Marie take up the coin and puts it in front of Mrs Meager.
Mrs Meager (then talks on): “And Mr Emilius had run off with one so there was the whole pack of us fighting over the other until Mr Emilius gets back and says he’s ever so sorry in his best religious voice but that he forgot and left it in his drawer.”
Marie. “But he hadn’t.”
Mrs Meager: “No, ma’am, in our line we is obliged to know about drawers.
Marie: “So. He must have had it with him all the time.”
Mrs Meager nods.
Marie. “Hmmmn (put another coin on the table). “Poor Mrs Meager. what a very difficult life you must have.
(More coins clinking on table. Mrs Meager’s face acknowledges the truth of this). Now can you remember anything else about Mr Emilius?”
Mrs Meager: “Well, eh though not exactly about him, ma’am, but um there has been some talk about a coat” (suddenly eager, the sympathy extended has also had its effect).
Marie alert: “Indeed there has.”
Mrs Meager: “Well, ma’am, my husband, Mr Meager, he’s not ‘ere very often, but he does sort of flit in and out from time to time. Well it just so happened that he flitted in on the day before the murder and when he flitted in see he was wearing this coat.”
Marie (sharp): “What coat?”
Mrs Meager: “The coat there has been all the talk about, ma’am, a gray sporty sort of coat (Marie’s face is quivering).
Marie: Have you told this to the police?”
Mrs Meager: “No, ma'am, in our parts we is not overly keen on talking with the police.”
Marie: “Well … (she looks down at purse, and more coins are put out). “Never mind, Mrs Meager (camera on pile of coins) “What happened to the coat?”
Mrs Meager: “It spent the night in the house, ma’am, along with Mr Meager, a gallon of port and a bottle of Dutch gin.”
Marie: “So. Mr Emilius could have borrowed the coat while Mr Meager was refreshing himself.”
Mrs Meager: “an ‘im none the wiser, filthy sot.”
Marie: “Where is it now?”
Mrs Meager: “Oh well …. (subtle sounds) that’s hard to say, ma’am … I mean now the summer’s really coming I pawned it for sure.”
Marie: “But it was definitely in the house on the night of the murder.”
Mrs Meager: “Yes, ma’am, I saw it on the sofa before I went to bed.”
Marie: “Mmmm. (faint music) (put more coins on table) Now. Mrs Meager send for your husband, find out where he pawned that coat and redeem it at once and take it to that address.
” Mrs Meager; “Not the police, ma’am, I hope.”
Marie: “No no. A nice kind gentleman who is my solicitor and who will show himself to be (she pushes noisy coins on table towards Mrs Meager) most grateful.”
The best moments are the close-ups of Fay’s face, the peculiarly tense look from actress’s face comes when she is telling of how often she pawns things (she pawned the gray coat Emilius wore), of her fears of police, and particularly her tones when describing Mr Meagre as a “filthy sot.”
Last modified 28 July 2013.