Only Fools And Horses

The Longest Night

THE SUPERSTORE. DAY. The Trotters are at the checkout. They are packing the bags with food,. Sheila, the girl on the counter, couldn't give a toss and speaks in monotone. Sheila Twenty nine pounds and forty eight pence. Del Sorry? Sheila Twenty nine pounds and forty eight pence. Del Did you sue 'em? Sheila Who? Del The charm school. The Trotters are going through the exit doors. A large sign on the door reads 'Topbuy Superstores are offering one thousand pounds to our millionth customer!' Albert (Referring back to Sheila) Miserable little cow! Del Yeah, right, we won't come here again. In future we'll take our custom down to Patel's Multi-Mart. They might be a bit dearer but at least they smile when they take yer money... Rodney, what's up with you? Rodney It's him innit! Whacked me straight in the shins with that shopping trolley. Albert I couldn't help it! That trolley had a mind of its own. Rodney Oh, what are you saying, it was intellectually superior to you, is that it? Albert Don't get sarky Rodney, it don't become yer! Rodney Well, a broken leg don't become... Del Alright you two will ya. Tom Clark, the store's Head of Security, follows the Trotters from the store. Tom Excuse me, one moment Gentle- men. Tom Clark, Topbuy Superstores. I wonder if I could have five minutes of your time please? Del Certainly Tom. Why what's up then? Tom If you'd like to accompany me to the manager's office I'll explain there. Rodney spots the 'millionth customer' notice. He nudges Del and points it out to him. Del Here, just a minute - what is your game? Oh yes. Tom Can I help you with any of the shopping? Del Oh yeah, thanks a lot. Lead on MacDougal! THE MANAGER'S OFFICE. DAY. Mr Peterson, the manager, is talking on the phone to his wife. We get the strong impression he is under the thumb. Mr Peterson Yes...yes...yes...But Valerie ...darling, listen to me for a moment! Why do you want to buy a brand-new car? A SMALL CORRIDOR INTO MANAGER'S OFFICE. DAY. Tom holds the door open for them and the Trotters enter the corridor. Del Alright ta. Rodney (To Albert) Look, I'm sorry I snapped at you back there, but I'm trying to give up smoking you see... Albert That's alright son, forget it. Er, I wonder which one of us it is? Rodney What d'you mean? Albert Well, there can only be one millionth customer can't there! Del Yeah, well it's got to be me innit, 'cos I paid for it all didn't I? Rodney Yeah, but I gave you my housekeeping! Albert And I gave you half my pension! THE MANAGER'S OFFICE. DAY. Tom enters followed by the Trotters. Del Alright, alright, don't go on about it! Rodney Del, we'll share the money fairly! Del Alright, leave it to me, Rodney. Rodney No, we'll share it fairly! Mr Peterson (On phone) Look I can't talk now, some- body's come into the office! No, I'm not quite sure what time I'll be home darling. You're not cooking anything special are you? Entrecote Rioja...Yes, my favourite! I'll give you a call just before I leave. Bye. (Smiles at the Trotters) The wife! Del Whose? Mr Peterson So, what's it all about Tom? Tom I stopped these gentlemen as they were leaving the store sir, as I have reason to believe they have some stolen items in their possession! Mr Peterson Dear, dear, dear! Del Stolen items?? Rodney What are you on about?? Albert We paid for these groceries!! Del That's right, twenty nine pounds and forty eight pence. Rodney Ask the girl at the checkout! Tom They came quietly sir, usual- ly a sign of guilt! Del Of course we did, because we thought we'd won the prize didn't we? Mr Peterson Alright Tom leave it with me ...and well done. Tom Thank you sir. Tom exits. Del Come on, come on, let's go, let's go. They move towards the door. Mr Peterson Gentlemen, if I press this button, security will be waiting for you outside the door. And it might appear to the magistrate that you were trying to evade arrest! Del Now wait a minute. Look, we paid for all these goods - and we've got a bill to prove it! Rodney Ah yes, and we've got a bill to prove it! Del Show him the bill Rodney! Rodney What? Del The bill! Rodney I ain't got it! Del Well of course you must. One of you must have! Albert Don't look at me I never even saw it! Del Yes you did, don't you remember... Rodney She took it out the till. Del Er... (To Mr Peterson) Actually we haven't got the bill! Mr Peterson What a shame. Gentlemen, there are two ways of handling this unfortunate situation. One; we can remain here in the office and discuss it like civilized people, or two; I can call the police! Why don't you talk it over amongst yourselves while I carry on with this. Albert There must be some way of proving we paid for all this! Del There most probably is Albert, but what happens if the Old Bill starts asking questions about all my gear and Rodney's watch?? Albert Yeah I s'pose you're right. Rodney You mean my watch is knocked off? Del Ssshhh! Listen, alright, it's not up to us to prove our innocence, right. It's up to them to prove our guilt. So, all we've got to do is say nothing at all. Right. Just keep schtum! We'll be out of here in ten minutes flat, alright. THE SUPERSTORE. DAY. The clock on the wall says six o'clock. Lennox Gilbey enters. He is black, 20 years-old and is charming and confident. He smiles and greets total strangers who ignore him. Lennox Hello there, how are you? I'm very well thank you. Lovely weather for this time of year, yes. Yes it is. (Sings) 'Some enchanted evening.' He sees an old lady trying to reach a tin of spam on a high shelf. Lennox (Cont'd) Allow me. That's very reason- able isn't it? I think I'll have two. Lennox places the tins into his pockets. Lennox (Cont'd) You take care now. He moves around the store openly stealing but with a smile. Packets of biscuits are bulging in his pockets, etc. Sheila notices him. Sheila Mr Clarke! Tom It's alright Sheila, I've seen him, leave it to me. At the tobacco kiosk. Lennox 20 Rothmans and a box of matches, love. Woman That's one pound forty six please. Lennox Put it on my account! You take care now. Lennox exits without paying. Woman You come back here with that stuff! Tom Alright son, this is the end of your fun and games! Lennox (Innocently) What have I done?? Oh no? Don't tell me, I haven't paid for these have I? Tom Haven't paid for? Get back in there, you're nicked! Lennox No, no, I have this problem you se, memory blanks! Tom Get in there! Lennox Listen to the man. The other day I went into Woolworths. When I got home I had a pair of binoculars, 12 packets of Strepsils and a roof rack for a Cortina and I didn't know!! Tom Yes, tell that to the manager, you're going up to the office. Lennox Please man. I'll go away for this. Look, I've only just come out! Tom You should have thought of that before-hand! Come on, up to the office. Lennox Please don't take me up to the office. Give me a break will yer?? Tom I'll give you a break if you keep on! Come on. Lennox Look, please don't take me up to the office! THE MANAGER'S OFFICE. DAY. The Trotters are beginning to show worry. Mr Peterson is lounging back in his chair eyeing them, tapping his ball-point pen on his teeth. Del That's a very nasty habit you got there you know. You can lose your teeth doing that. Mr Peterson Really? And how would you know that? Del 'Cos I'm gonna stick my fist right down your throat if you don't pack it in!! Rodney Oi, oi, oi, Del! Del Well Rodney, he's giving me the right hump he really is. A SMALL CORRIDOR INTO MANAGER'S OFFICE. DAY. Lennox (To Tom) Don't take me to the office! THE MANAGER'S OFFICE. DAY. Tom shoves Lennox in. Tom Here's another one for you. Lennox produces a gun from an inside pocket and points it at Mr Peterson. Lennox Okay, open up the safe! Tom Alright son, now take it easy! Lennox (Referring to the Trotters') Who are they? Mr Peterson Er, they, they're here on suspicion of shoplifting. Lennox Oh! Move. (To Del) Ain't I seen you somewhere before! Del No, no, no. I ain't been any- where before, have I Rodney, eh? Rodney No, no. He's the stay at home type all the time. Lennox (To Mr Peterson) Go on, open up the safe. Mr Peterson Yes, of course! Lennox (To Del and Rodney) I'm a right villain I am! A real hard nut! Del Yes triffic! Yes. Lennox Hey, what's with the hands in the air? Del Well you've got a gun in your other hand. Lennox Come on, let's not be formal, put 'em down. D'you know the secret of my success? Del No, no. Lennox Planning! No detail is left unturned, no stone unchecked. I plan everything down to the last second! Mr Peterson Excuse me, I'm terribly sorry but I can't open the safe! Lennox (To Tom) What's he say to me?? Tom (To Mr Peterson) Come on now, don't be a prat sir! Open the safe for the nice man. Mr Peterson I can't open it, the combin- ation won't work! What's the time? Lennox It's about twenty past five. Albert No, it's quarter past six. Lennox Bloody watch, it's always going wrong! Me mum only bought it for me a month ago down the market! Rodney looks at Del. Mr Peterson I didn't realise it was that late! I won't be able to open the safe. You see, it's fitted with a time-lock which comes into operation at 6pm! Lennox (To Tom) Is this true?? Tom Yeah, I'm sorry son, you're 15 minutes late! Lennox Bloody watch!! So when does it switch off? Mr Peterson Tomorrow at 8am! Lennox Oh great! Well thank you very much! So what am I supposed to do now? Albert Can't you come back first thing in the morning? Lennox No I can't - I have got other things to do you know! Oh well, I suppose there's nothing else for it! Lennox goes over to the door and locks it. Lennox (Cont'd) We'll have to wait! Del Eh, wait? What are you talk- ing about. Well that's 14 hours!! Lennox Look, I don't wanna stay in here any more than what you do! But have you any idea how much is in that safe? There's about sixty grand! Rodney You're kidding. Mr Peterson I'm afraid not, Friday is our busiest day. Lennox (To Del, tapping his temple) See planning! Let's all settle down now. It's only 14 hours, it'll soon go. Sit down!! Del (To Rodney) And I had a date tonight too, with that croupier bird from the 1-11 Club. Charming sort. She's well spoken, cordon blue cook and does the business! It could be months before I have another crack at her! Rodney Yeah, I am well choked for you, ain't I. INT. MANAGER'S OFFICE. LATER. It is later. The room is in darkness. Everyone is sitting, fear having been replaced by boredom. Rodney (Quietly to Del) Got any cigars on you? Del No, no, I smoked me last one about an hour ago. Anyway this'll help you to pack it up, won't it, eh? Rodney Oh yeah, a gun at yer head's just the sort of incentive you need innit! Del (Referring to Lennox) He ain't gonna hurt no one! He's just a kid tryin' to get some money. He's more frightened than us. Rodney Aah bless him! Del Are you still there son? Lennox Yeah, what d'you want? Del Just wondering about if we can have some lights on. You know, see what we was up to, know what I mean. Lennox But passers-by might see the light! Del No, no, not if you pull the blinds, right? Lennox Oh yeah! (To Tom) Okay, I want you to do exactly as I say. Tom Anything you say son, you're the boss. Lennox I want you to switch the lights on then pull them blinds down. Del No, no, hang on. What you want to do is pull down the blinds then switch on the light! Lennox Oh yeah, thanks. Right, I want you to pull them blinds then... Tom Yes, yeah I think I've got it! He pulls the blinds down and switches the desk lamp on. Lennox moves over to Del. Lennox D'you know what the police have nicknamed me? Del I've got a shrewd idea, but no, go on! Lennox I'm known as The Shadow! Because I'm fast and fleeting, I come and I go and no-one knows! Del Come and go do you? It's gonna take you 14 bleedin' hours to come and go in here! Albert I've known epidemics come and go quicker than you! Lennox I didn't know that safe was on a time lock. No, I'm a man of mystery me! A master of disguises - a man of a thousand faces! Do you remember the Scarlet Pimpernel? Rodney That weren't you was it? Lennox No, but I'm like him! They seek him here, they seek him there, those policemen seek him everywhere. Is he in Heaven, or is he in Hell, that damned elusive Sh-a-dow! Del Yeah, that's er, good, very, very good, that's good that. So the police are looking for The Shadow are they? Lennox They'll never catch him! Del No, no, but I et Hank Marvin's had a few tugs though! Lennox laughs with Del. The phone on the desk rings. Lennox What's that?? Mr Peterson It's the phone. Lennox I know it's the phone! I ain't stupid! I mean who is it?? Mr Peterson Well it's a little difficult to tell at this stage! Albert You'd better let him answer it son, it might be his wife. Rodney Oh yeah, she's got entrecote rioja. Lennox Oh I'm sorry to hear that! Well go'n then, find out how she is. Mr Peterson Yes! Peterson? (Hand over mouth- piece) It's security, they're about to shut up... (On phone) Yes, you can switch the alarm system on. Tom Oi, oi, oi, I'm the Head of Security! (Grabbing phone) You can switch the alarm system on, yes! Mr Peterson There you are you see, everything's alright now. Lennox Yeah? You don't mind if I double-check do ya? Lennox checks through the blinds. Albert (To Rodney and Del) He's becoming more nervous and agitated! They're the danger signs in a situation like this! Del I've told you, he'll be alright, he'll be good as gold as long as we don't upset him! He's just a kid. Albert That's what makes him dangerous! A nervous kid, hair trigger! Put 'em together and... Rodney You're a cheerful old bark ain't yer? Albert One of us has got to create a distraction! So that the other two can grapple with him and disarm him! Lennox (To the Trotters) What are you whispering about? Del It's alright son, nothing, alright, alright, no problem. Albert Do you mind if I stand up a bit and walk round? Lennox Why? Albert I've got a bit of cramp in me leg. Lennox Go on then. No sudden movements though! Del Sudden movements, him!? Rodney The closest he gets to a sudden movements when he wipes the cobwebs off his head! Albert Ooh that's better! Albert suddenly clutches his chest as if in pain. He contorts his face and starts wobbling. Albert (Cont'd) Aaahhggg! Aaaaggghh! Albert lowers himself to the floor and kicks his right leg in the air a bit. None of the others show a flicker of emotion. Albert's eyes open on the floor and he surveys the room. Realising his ploy hasn't worked he gets to his feet and sits back down. Nothing is said. Rodney (To Albert) You got any tobacco on you? INT. MANAGER'S OFFICE. EARLY MORNING. The next morning. The clock says 7.30am. Everyone in the office is asleep. Lennox is asleep, his head on the desk. He is not holding the gun but it is very close to his hand. There are noises outside. Del What's that noise? Albert Weren't me! Mr Peterson It's the staff arriving. Del What time d'you open? Mr Peterson 8.30am. Rodney We've been here 13 an 'alf hours! Don't time fly when you're in good company. Tom Only 'alf hour to go and it'll all be over. Del (Looking at the sleeping Lennox) The old Shadow's looking pretty knackered ain't he, eh? Tom With proper training you can condition your body to do without sleep. I learnt that out in Kenya. Rodney What, you got a branch out there then? Tom No, no! When I was younger I did a bit of traveling. I ended up doing five years with the Kenyan Police Force. I was out there during the trouble with the Mau Mau. Albert He's too young to know what that means. He most probably thinks the Mau Mau is the African Post Office! Rodney We did modern history at school, didn't we, mouthy? Rodney's attention is drawn to the desk and the sleeping Lennox. Tom Judging by all them ribbons you must have seen a bit of action Albert? Rodney stands and very slowly and very cautiously begins moving towards the desk. Albert Yeah. I was in the Navy, Royal and Merchant. I've seen things that would make yer teeth itch! But I never talk about it though. Sharks! Don't talk to me about sharks! I've seen 'em 50 foot long! Monsters they were! Rodney is getting closer and closer to the desk. Del Yeah, he thinks that Jaws was a stickleback! Oi Rodney! What the bloody hell d'you think you're playing at??? Rodney Ssshhhh! Del Rodney... Albert Rodney - come back here and sit down son! Tom Don't do anything rash son, it ain't worth it! Mr Peterson For God's sake there's only 30 minutes to go!! Rodney's nerves are at breaking point. As he reaches the desk a floorboard creaks. Lennox stirs at the sound. Rodney stops. He reaches out across the desk, his hand inching towards the gun. His hand moves past the gun and picks up a pack of fags. He turns triumphantly. Del You plonker!! Lennox (Waking) What you doing?? Rodney Nothing! I just fancied a fag that's all! Lennox Well why didn't you ask me? There's no need to steal! Rodney No, sorry! There is the sound of a car outside. Lennox What was that?? Mr Peterson It's the staff arriving. Lennox (Checks watch) They start early don't they? Quarter past four! Tom It's half past seven! Lennox Bloody watch! So, only 'alf an hour to go! It's sad really. We might never meet again. Del We could always hold a reunion next year, if you like. Lennox (Pointing gun at Del) I remember who you are now! Del No, no. It's alright son - you can have a full rebate, no problems, alright. Lennox You're er...oh what is it? No, don't tell me! Tel. No, Del...Del Trotter! Right? Don't you recognise me? Del Well you're a master of disguise ain't yer! Lennox D'you remember Roseanna Gilbey? West Indian lady, lives down Cutler Road... Years ago you used to come round on the weekly and that, selling shoes Del. Del Yes I remember, and that was you?? Lennox Don't you remember her little boy? Del No, no. You're not little... Lennox! Lennox That's right! It's me - Lennox Gilbey! Del Lennox Gilbey. I don't believe it! Stone me. Last time I saw you, you was about that high! Cor dear, doesn't time fly, eh? So what you doing with yourself now? Lennox Oh well, I'm on the dole Del. Del Oh yeah, how's your mum? Lennox She's alright, suffers from her feet a bit, but... Del Yeah, well, but she would. Wait, hang about. I remember your mum. I remember - very straight lady, proud, church goer and all that! Lennox Yeah, she won't know nothing about this Del. Del Oh no. So how you gonna explain say sixty grand, eh? Christmas bonus from the Job Centre? Listen Lennox, there are millions of people out there in the same boat as you! But they don't go round robbing everyone! Lennox Look I haven't had a job right in six years! Del Well nor has Rodney! Lennox I've got no future! Del Nor has Rodney! Lennox Look I haven't done a day's work since I left school Del. Del It's a tough old world Lennox, tough world but it doesn't give you the right to go round pointing guns at people! (Referring to the gun) That thing's gonna put you in prison! Lennox No, I'm too shrewd! Del Oh shrewd, you? Shrewd are you? Very shrewd. Lennox Yeah! Del An hour ago you were The Shadow right, man of mystery. Now we know your name, your address and your mum's shoe size! Give it up Lennox before it's too late, eh? That gun doesn't suit you! Lennox In 20 minutes Del I'll be rich! Del And in 30 minutes you're gonna be banged up! I'll tell you what shall I? Just review the situation for a second. All the staff have arrived, right. They're starting to work out there. And you’ve gotta walk through 'em, ain't ya? They're all out there - shelf-packers, the porters, the cleaners, the security men! The shop doesn't open till half past eight, right. So in order for you to get out, you've gotta go up, ask them to get the keys to let you out!!! Albert Before you can say 'police sniper' there'll be more lead flying about than a fight in a scrap yard! Rodney You'd never reach your get- away car. Lennox Get-away car! I knew there was something...Here look Del, I didn't wanna go through with this right. I just got...I just got a bit desperate! Del It's alright, it's alright. I know son, I know alright. Lennox And the police didn't really nickname me The Shadow! I'm not known by the police! I've never done anything like this before! Del Look, now listen to me, listen, you give it up before it's too late! I'll tell you what I'll do, I'll come down the court with ya, and speak for ya. Lennox (To Mr Peterson) You said it would be easy!! Mr Peterson Shut up you fool!! Lennox I've been set up for this Del! Rodney You??? You and...Lennox?? Lennox He said I'd just walk out with the money! Mr Peterson And you could have if you'd been here at five o’clock as arranged!! Del That's it, innit. Of course - it's been worrying me all night this has. I mean to say, how did Lennox know so much about this place? How did he know there was all that money here in the safe, and where it was? Mr Peterson You must believe me, I didn't do it purely for the money! Albert What d'you do it for then? Mr Peterson ...Well alright, I did it for the money! But it was simply to pay off my debts! You see I have a wife whose hobby is spending! Twelve thousand pounds for a solarium, fifteen thousand for a swimming pool and now she's got the estimates on a marble-tiled gazebo! God, we only live in a semi! Del Couldn't you seek professional help? Mr Peterson You mean a psychiatrist? Del No, I mean a hit-man. Mr Peterson No, I couldn't afford it! This...seemed the only way out. Rodney But how did you two ever meet? I mean, I can't imagine Lennox at the young Tories ball, and well you wouldn't go down a bomb at the Ram Jam Club, would yer? Mr Peterson Lennox came here last year looking for a job. Lennox Then we bumped into each other a couple of months ago in court. Mr Peterson I'd been summonsed for failure to maintain the re- payments on a hire purchase agreement that had been signed by my wife, the fat greedy cow. Lennox I was there on an attempted wounding case. Oh, I weren't the accused Del, I was the victim! Anyway, me and Mr Peterson got chatting and the whole thing started from there. Albert Did he supply you with the gun? Lennox Oh no! (Indicating Tom) He did! Del Chamboussiz nouvelle. Cor dear, would you Adam and Eve it, eh? Dixon of Kuala Lumpur is involved! Tom Yeah that's right, the three of us planned it. But I want you to know I did it purely for the money! Del I bet you did. Tom I retire in a couple of months' time and you should have seen the crummy pension this firm was offering me! I was gonna get less than Duncan Goodhew's barber! Mr Peterson We needed Tom in with us for his police experience. He told us what to do, how to make the robbery look genuine. Rodney So where did we fit into this? Tom Well, it would have looked a bit dodgy wouldn't it, if the only witnesses to a 60 grand robbery were the store manager and the head of security! No, what we wanted was some independent wit- nesses! Del Oh. I see, so that is why you pulled us in? 14b hours just to provide you with an alibi? Cor, well I'll...just a minute - give me that here! (Taking gun) Look, where did you get this? Tom Out of out toy department. Del Yeah - I wondered how long Taiwan had been making Lugers! Mr Peterson! So what happens now? Are you going to the police? Del Na! I'm gonna phone 'em instead. Lennox Del! Del It's alright, don't panic, don't panic, just winding you up! You are a wally Lennox! Lennox Sorry Del! Del What is your mum gonna say, eh? Anyway there's no real harm done right? No one got hurt, nothing got nicked! Now listen to me Lennox, you're after a job right? Lennox I've been after one since I left school, Del. Del Well I know where there's one going. And I'm well in with the governor! Lennox You're kidding?? Del No. Lennox You reckon you could swing it for me? Del I think so, mind you the job does not become available until... (To Tom) When d'you retire Tom? Tom What, him work here - in security?? Albert Can you think of anyone better? (Referring to Mr Peterson) He'll know exactly who to keep his eye on! Del That's right, tell me - what would you prefer, young Lennox or Old Bill? Mr Peterson Welcome to the firm Lennox! Tom I'll sort you out a uniform, show you yer duties! Del That's it Rodney. Come on Albert, come on, we're going. We're leaving. Let's get out of here! Oh dear. Rodney This lot's gonna have to go straight in the fridge when we get home. Rodney picks up a French stick and bangs it on the desk. It is rock hard. Del (Throws it to Lennox) Here are Lennox, save you buying a truncheon, won't it, eh? Oh, by the way Mr Peterson, I'm coming back to your shop this afternoon. Mr Peterson Why? Del 'Cos I've got this funny feeling that I am gonna be your millionth customer! What do you think? Mr Peterson I have exactly the same feel- ing! Del You know it makes sense don't ya? Bonjour.

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