- Episode 4 || 21 October
1979 || Synopsis || Manor
Fourth episode of Series 1 (seven episodes)
- Guest cast: Michael Ripper (Trotter); Daphne Oxenford (Mrs Patterson);
Jayne Lester (Linda)
- A U D R E Y:
- "The price of nine-penny stamps
- A U D R E Y:
- "Brabinger, you will soon be joining
the ranks of the unemployed."
A visit to the village
shop is Audrey's latest lesson in the New Order. On top of learning that
Mrs Patterson no longer carries royal game soup ("There's no call for
it," she insists; "Of course there is," says Audrey, "I
called for it"), falling victim to Mrs Patterson's faulty math and
being denied credit, she hears the news that Richard is "knocking hell"
out of the manor. Audrey is further chagrined when Richard himself arrives
to pick up his special order of cigars, his copy of Horse and Hound and
a breaded ham--all, at the fawning insistence of Mrs Patterson, on credit.
Audrey accepts Richard's offer of a ride home, however, and inquires about
the changes at the manor, which Richard refers to as "functionalizing."
"Don't worry, we're leaving the foundations," he jokes. "And
you'd be surprised how well the computer bank blends in with the fruitwood
panelling in the ballroom."
- Audrey returns home to find the lodge in a state of disrepair; Brabinger
is wiring the lodge for a bell system so that Audrey may summon him from
anywhere in the house, including the bathroom. "I can't imagine why
anyone would want to summon you to the bathroom," she says, and, inquiring
after the dead pigeon he is lugging about, learns that it was found in
the water tank. Audrey is appalled: "I've bathed in that water, I've
brushed my teeth in it. I've even arranged flowers in it." "I
thought they lasted longer," Brabinger muses. Audrey is not amused.
"May I remind you that you are still downstairs even though you live
upstairs." She sends him to fetch something she forgot when she drove
back from the village. "Yes, madame," Brabinger says." What
it it?" "The car," she says, handing him the keys.
When Marjory arrives for lunch, she finds Audrey in high dudgeon. She relates
the ghastly details of her visit to the shop this morning, ending with
an exasperated "The whole fabric of society is becoming irreparably
unstitched." Marjory spots a photo of Audrey at Badminton, asking
in a shocked voice if that is the Queen in the photo with her. "Yes,
so it is," says Audrey nonchalantly. "I remember, she was there."
Spying on the manor from her window, she sees that workmen are indeed carting
out the fireplace from the library. Audrey is horrified, but Marjory points
out that Audrey herself always hated that fireplace, that it had been installed
during the war to block the big hearth. Audrey is undeterred, however ("I
doubt he could tell a good fireplace from Adam," she says), and sails
off to the manor to assess the damage.
|Richard endures Audrey's sarcastic scolding at her
discovery that the fireplace has been discarded to make room for a large
safe. "Doubtless the work of the great Otto Chubb of Heidelberg, cabinetmakers
to the gnomes of Zurich," she drawls; "so much more elegant than
an antique Adam fireplace." She points out that her own mantle doesn't
even have room for her photo of herself, her horse and the Queen. Richard,
deterring her argument, has horses in mind as well, and asks Audrey a favour--he
wishes to buy a horse, in keeping with his new station, but has never ridden
one and, in fact, is "scared stiff of the bloody things." Audrey
is sufficiently mollified by his request for help that she agrees, although,
as she points out to Richard, "You can't make phone calls from a horse";
and when Richard rings repeatedly with no success, a horrible realisation
dawns on her and she makes a hasty exit. When she has left, Mrs Polouvicka
points out to Richard that he should repay the favour by giving Audrey the
old fireplace from the den. "Such a lady," she says. "To
think she has the queen on her mantelpiece...What have you got over your
mantelpiece?" she asks, waving her hand dismissively at the portrait
hanging over the hearth. "Just some old painting you found somewhere."
"Yes," sighs Richard. "Sotheby's."|
Audrey returns to the lodge to find Marjory and Brabinger covered in soot.
They tell her that when Brabinger began drilling a hole for the bell indicator
in the hearth, the entire fireplace came apart. Audrey is less than impressed;
"Brabinger, you will soon be joining the ranks of the unemployed."
But Marjory shows her that, behind the small fireplace that Brabinger destroyed,
is a huge old Portland stone hearth; again, a fireplace blocked up to save
fuel during the war. Brabinger notes that the flue is open, and wonders
if it should be swept; probing with his broom, however, brings down a cloud
of soot and another dead pigeon. "He's having quite a good bag today,"
The next day, Richard and Audrey set out to buy
a horse. The proprietor, Mr Trotter, immediately recognises Richard as an
easy mark ("Price isn't important," Richard announces, causing
Audrey to raise an eyebrow), but Audrey is unimpressed with all the animals
on offer, which include:
- a handsome animal, "a snip at 5,000," Trotter claims, but
Audrey discovers the horse has bowed tendons. "Genuine animal, this,"
Trotter protests." "Good few seasons left in in this horse."
"Yes," agrees Audrey, "pantomime seasons."
- Fearless, at £3,000. Audrey dismisses him because of his name;
Trotter knows the horse is "an absolute coward. It's an old trick.
If someone every offers you a horse called Utter Rubbish, buy it."
- a pony, brought out in response to Audrey's request for something "suitable
for someone to learn on."
- Goliath, a monster, which Audrey claims is too big for his legs. "Could
have done with this horse at Cheltenham," Trotter claims. "Yes,"
Audrey says drily, "I'm sure you'd have had a much better view of
- Trotter's own horse, which Audrey spies being led out of its stable
and which Trotter claims he could not part with. "He's not for sale,
ma'am." "Seven-fifty" Audrey says. "Sold."
- A U D R E Y:
- "If someone ever offers you a horse
called Utter Rubbish, buy it."
|Having saved Richard £4,250, they celebrate
with dinner at the inn and return to Richard's study. Richard is suitably
appreciative; "I wouldn't have been any the wiser if you'd bought me
a bad-tempered old boneshaker with dodgy front legs which threw me -- and
then bit me on the way down." "How do you know I haven't?"
Audrey asks, bursting into gales of laughter. Richard tells Audrey that,
by way of thanking her, he has a surprise for her at the lodge; he has barely
finished the sentence before she has begun to run home.
Once there, however, she learns from Brabinger that Mrs Polouvicka, in addition
to discovering his bell indicator, has overseen the installation of the
old Adam fireplace from the manor, again sealing up the Portland hearth.
Richard is quite puffed up about his gift, and says that, in removing another
fireplace from one of the bedrooms, they discovered an old Inglenook hearth;
"You've never seen anything so beautiful," he says. "I think
I might have done, Mr DeVere," Audrey says, barely able to conceal
her dismay. "Once."
- R I C H A R
- "You've never seen anything so beautiful."
- A U D R E Y:
- "I think I might have done, Mr DeVere.
- Mrs Patterson's math results in Audrey paying £5.64 for a £5.59
order, and receiving £.26 change on a £2 note for a £1.72
bottle of sherry.
- The photo that sets the chain of events in motion is from the time
Audrey won the cross-country at Badminton. "I never talk about it,"
- Richard claims to weigh 15 stone, about 210 pounds.
- Richard asks Audrey to call him by his Christian name in this episode,
but she demurs. She does agree, however, that he may call her Audrey.