Door Productions presents...
The Beast of Hampton Moors
Martin Landau as Lord Peterson, Veronica Carlson as Mary, Peter Cushing as
Sherlock Holmes, Dwight Frye as the Butler, Nigel Stock as Watson, Michael
Ripper as the Old Soak, and Andre Morrel as Inspector Smith, Ron Moody as the
the wind howled across the common and with it the came the heavy rain.
Old oak trees bent their branches and now and again they would scratch
along a windowpane. Lord Peterson
sat in the comfort of his old armchair supping on hot mead, which had been
prepared for him by Graves the butler. "Would
there be anything else master?" Said a nervous Graves as he stood silently
by the large mahogany table shaking. "No
thank you Graves, I think I'll just sit here and take in the warmth of the fire
and mead and relax awhile." Graves
slid off into the darkness of the corridor and into his chamber.
He hated nights like these, and could not settle.
Nights like these reminded him of the beast.
The terrible giant black beast, which roamed the countryside in fowl
weather carrying out nefarious, acts of horror.
But who ever believed what Graves said.
"Silly old fool they would say."
But he knew better, oh yes old Graves new better.
Down at the
Tavern Inn the landlord was starting to call time and hopefully get everybody
out at once. "Come on now lets
be 'avin' ya all out. A man's gotta
get his kip." But it wasn't
sleep the old rascal was after it was Mary the new barmaid.
She was a stunner and no messing. "Ere
Mary, itís a baddun out there tonight, why don't you kip in one of the rooms
up stairs." Mary looked a bit
unsure, "Well if it's no trouble."
A smile came to the landlord's face, "Na trouble at all, hey, beep
beep" In the corner of the inn was sloped John the old soak, as drunk as a
lord and hardly able to stand. "Well well drunk again eh?" Old John
looked bleary eyed at the landlord and tried to mutter something. "Well
I... has...another drink pleaassee." The
landlord with the help of a local lifted the old soak up and carted him outside.
"Now on your way old timer, and watch yourself."
his laboratory, Sherlock Holmes was conducting another experiment.
"I say Watson old chap, look at this It's most amazing."
Watson came over to the table, which was covered with all sorts of glass
beakers, pipes and liquids. "I
say Holmes, what have you concocted there?"
Holmes looked up at his old comrade, "It's a substance I have
perfected to replace the drugs I been having to take. Just think Watson, no more
cocaine now I've produced this." Watson
sat next to his old friend just a little concerned.
"Are you sure old boy that it is safe, I mean you know what happened
last time you tried to replace your addiction."
"Poppycock Watson don't be such a ninny hammer. This is good stuff.
I'll prove it now to you." Holmes
took the beaker and placed it to his lips then took a deep quaff of the liquid.
After a few minutes Holmes looked at his old friend, "There, you see
nothing to worry about, I'm fine. Lets
have a cognac and then retire, we're up early tomorrow remember."
"Ah yes Hillcrest Hall." Replied Watson.
brought about a bright day and the sun was starting to heat up the damp sodden
lawns and parklands in London Town. Outside a certain house in Baker Street
stood a coach and horse and atop of it sat the driver waiting to take his fare
on a long journey. Inside the house
Holmes and Watson were preparing to leave, when a letter was pushed through the
door. "I say Holmes what's
this?" Holmes opened the letter and read its contents.
"Hmmm, it looks like Hillcrest Hall will have to wait.
My old friend Lord Peterson is in need of our assistance Watson."
"Well what...what is it old chap?"
Holmes donned his coat and deerstalker hat and replied, "I'll tell
you on the way my friend."
Peterson was standing in the great lounge of the Manor shaking slightly.
The sight that greeted him this morning when Graves hadn't shown up with
his breakfast had unnerved him. Peterson
had gone into Graves' chamber and found him dead, mauled to death, his face
slashed and body half eaten. The
amber liquid in his glass swayed as his hand shook at the memory of his Old
Faithful butler and the horrible way he died. His maid entered the room, "Sir, a Mr Sherlock Holmes
and Dr Watson are here to see you." "Oh
good show them in." Replied Lord Peterson.
"My dear chap I came as soon as I got your letter.
It's just as well our homes are not far from one another."
The maid poured drinks for the great detective and his friend and left
the room. "Is the body still
here?" Asked Watson. "Yes
it's in the chapel, oh it's so horrible. I've never seen anything like it in my
life." Their drinks finished,
the lord of the manor escorted his friends to the chapel and the remains of
old soak lurched his way unsteadily along the towpath swaying this way and that
and singing a old melody to himself. A
smile was painted across his face and his cheeks bright red with the affects of
the alcohol consumed throughout the night.
In the dark of the woods to his right something stirred and began to pace
old John step for step. But being
in such a stupor the old man didn't notice anything was amiss until he heard an
almighty growl. "Groooowwwllll!" "Oh my giddy aunt, whatever
could that be?" Old John stood
rigid and again heard "Ggrrrooowwwlll!".
He began to walk faster and then began to run as best he could.
"Oh my, it's the Beast, I'm a gonna here an no mistakin".
Suddenly he lost his footing to a dip in the pathway and fell crashing to the
ground. He turned his head and
Mary you gets yourself upstairs into one of those there rooms and I'll lock up,
an bring ya somfink hot, ay beep beep. "Mary found a room to her liking and
shuddered at the thought of the landlord. "Dirty
old sod." she thought and locked the door of her room, undressed and
slipped into a white negligee. She lay in bed and heard the landlord's footsteps
coming up the stairs, then stopping at the room she was in. "You alright Mary, want somefink hot inside ya ay beep
beep." Mary didn't answer. Outside
the landlord waited and listened at the door.
"A sleep ay. Well there'll be another night." The lecherous
landlord thought to himself.
Manor the master detective Sherlock Holmes and his able assistant Dr Watson were
just finishing off a light supper and were speaking to Lord Peterson about the
horrible death of his butler Graves. "What
I don't understand is how did whatever it was that killed him, get into the
house let alone his room. The
building was locked tight." "that
is why we are here old friend, to deduce what went on.
There is definitely something afoot!" Replied Holmes. "Dr
Watson, what do you make of it all, I mean those injuries he sustained are
horrific. What in God's name could
have done this?" Pleaded
Peterson. "Well old boy, I say, I'll have to run some more tests to get to
the bottom of it all." Came
the reply. "Well off you go
then Watson, I'm off to the village to see if anybody has any answers to these
goings on." Holmes dragged on
his great coat and hat and took up his walking cane.
"Would you like a carriage to take you into the village, my
friend?" "Heavens no, it's a lovely day and a saunter to the village
will do me good, tally ho."
walked about a mile, when he came upon a group of locals and the village bobby. "Hello, what's all the kafuffle?"
"And who may you be sir, if ya don't mind me arskin?" Intoned
the village bobby. "Allow me to introduce myself." Holmes extended he
card in a gloved hand. "Strewth,
it's Sherlock Holmes the great London detective." Came the response.
"Now if you could be so good and tell me what is a miss, maybe I can
help." "It's old John
sir, he was found dead here this morning. Ripped
to pieces he was, 'orrible!" "And where is he now?"
"Rested up in the local church, till the doc can 'ave a look at 'im."
Came the retort. "And where is
the doctor now?" "He's
off on Ďoliday won't be back till tomorrow."
"Tomorrow!!! Good heavens man you can't let a body lay in a church
till then. You there sonny, here's
a shilling, run up to Hampton Manor and fetch my friend Dr Watson back here with
you. And be quick about it, and I'll give you another shilling."
The young lad took off at a pace and half an hour later arrived back with
Watson in a carriage.
The two men
covered up the ripped dead body of old John, and asked the vicar to conduct a
mass and burial for the old timer as soon as was convenient.
Slowly they walked up the aisle, "I say Holmes, it appears we have
to bodies killed in exactly the same way." "Yes, Watson and by the
looks of the injuries, I'd say that the beast that the locals clam is wild in
the countryside is very real indeed."
Hampton Manor, Lord Peterson was looking worried.
He was answering questions that were being asked by Inspector Smith. "No, I don't know how it happened and yes all the doors
to the Manor were bolted firm." The
Inspector still looked puzzled and scratched his head.
"Could anybody have snuck down in the night and opened a door to let
the killer in? Did Graves have any
enemies here at the Manor?" As
Lord Peterson was about to answer the front doors of the great hall swung open
and in breezed Holmes and Watson. "Ahh
Inspector Smith I presume. I'm
Holmes and this is Dr Watson." "Pleased
to make your acquaintance gentlemen. Have
you found anything of interest in the village?" "We have.
We now know that Graves and the old man were killed by the same
thing." The Inspector and
Peterson looked baffled. "You said thing, not person, what do you mean
Holmes." "I mean
gentlemen that it was the beast that killed the two men, the very same beast
that has been sighted by the locals over the moors and heard howling at
It was now
fast approaching 11 o' clock and the landlord of The Cloven Hoof Inn was asking
for time, "Come on now gentlemen and ladies aint ya gor 'omes to go to? Sup
up now and lets be 'avin ya out!" Mary
looked at the landlord and knew she didn't want to spend another night in the
inn. "Ere Mary you can stay again tonight if ya like." Mary tried to ignore him and walked over to a gent sitting in
the corner smoking a pipe and sipping a brandy. "Excuse me sir, but could I
ask a favour of you?" Sherlock
Holmes looked up from his paper, "Why yes, what is it child?"
Mary pretended to clean the table while she asked Holmes if he could do
the honour of walking her a little way down the lane to the hotel.
"Why yes I'll be most happy to." Came the reply.
Holmes was waiting for Mary to finish off when the landlord approached
him, "Excuse me guvner, but I'll 'ave to arsk ya to leave, we is
alright my good man I'm waiting for Mary to finish."
The landlord looked stunned, "You is waitin' for Mary is ya, and 'ow
does she know a fine gent like you if I may be so bold to arsk." Holmes
stood up and looked the landlord in the eyes, "You may not ask sir, you do
not need to know." "Now
'old on a minute." Cried the landlord as he made a grab for the sleuth.
Holmes raised his fist and punched him in the nose. Crashing to the floor
the landlord felt blood trickle, "You've touched my claret, that's wot you
down the lane Holmes asked Mary where she was heading for. "I don't
know". Came the reply. "I just don't want to stay anywhere near that
old letch again, ooh he makes me flesh crawl 'e does."
"Then we'll hear no more about it, you will be my guest at Hampton
Manor. Lord Peterson and I are old
friends he won't mind you staying for awhile I'll be bound." The two continued on their way when out of the darkness the
great detective and his companion suddenly heard a loud howling.
"Quick run as fast as you can it sounds like the beast that's been
terrorising the village." Shouted Holmes. The two ran as hard and fast as
they could and arrived breathlessly at the manor.
"Good heavens Holmes what is all this?" cried Watson.
"Watson the beast, it's on the moors, we've just heard it. Where is Lord
Peterson?" Watson looked dumbstruck, "Well he was hear earlier but
retired to his chamber. Why do you ask?"
Holmes looked at his old friend closely, Quick fetch him from his bed and
get him to guard this young lady, we are going on a hunt."
Watson did as he was told and moments later arrived back in the lounge,
"Holmes, he's not there. His bed is empty and his window is wide
open." "Just as I
suspected old friend I think Peterson has something to do with everything that
is going on, I think he knows what the beast is."
Again Watson looked flabbergasted, "I say Holmes, and how the deuce
do you come to that conclusion?" "No
time to say now old boy, we've got to
The two old
friends bounded down the driveway and onto the moors, with flashlight in hand
they scoured the area for the beast. Again
howling could be heard, nearer this time and the two men strode on. In the light
of the silver full moon a body was being ripped to bits and was left to lay in
it's final death throes as the beast made off into the wilds of the moors.
The beam of Holmes' flashlight caught a shape on the ground and also a
shape running off in the distance. "Steady
Watson, it looks like a body over there."
The lights beam proved Holmes rights, "Good lord its Peterson. What
was he doing out here?" Cried Watson. "Well I'll be." Is all
Holmes could say.
Back at the
Manor Holmes, Watson and a very sleepy Mary were trying to deduce what was going
on. "I take it Holmes you
fancied Lord Peterson to be the beast."
Holmes nodded affirmation. Mary
looked wide eyed and asked "What do you mean doctor?" Watson informed Mary that Peterson had been mixing potions
and taking it daily, which resulted in some strange behaviour patterns, Holmes
naturally suspected that he had somehow turned himself into a beast, a kind of
Jekyll and Hyde character. "So
you or what is the beast then?" Asked an incredulous Mary.
"That is what we are going to find out." Replied Holmes and
Watson in unison.
Holmes who do you think is involved with these murders then if it wasn't who you
suspected?" Asked Inspector Smith as he sat in a great leather armchair by
the blazing fire that a maid had prepared.
"I do not know at this precise moment Inspector, but rest assured I
will inform you as soon as I have some answers to this confounded riddle."
The Inspector got up to leave and was escorted out by the maid who was
looking very nervous indeed. "Now
then child do not worry while Holmes and Watson are here you'll be safe."
The Inspector left with a nod and as he left the great hall a look of
satisfaction crossed his countenance.
Mary sat at
the table sipping the remains of a cup of Earl Grey tea and looked over at the
detective. "Mr Holmes, do you think the beast will ever be caught?"
Holmes walked over to Mary and placed a warm hand on her shoulder, "Do not
worry so much dear lady, I will solve this riddle of the beast once and for all
tonight." Just then Watson joined the couple, he had been in the study
where Holmes and he had set up a laboratory. "I say Holmes are we to go out
on the moors again tonight?" "No" replied the sleuth, "We
are going into the village tonight, I've a feeling what we are looking for is
there." Again Watson looked flabbergasted, Holmes, is there something you
haven't told me yet?" Holmes smirked at his old friend, "Later my good
Hoof Inn was busy this night and the landlord was up to his eyes in beer and
drunks. "Blast that girl Mary, ain't come in tonight that's what. Got a do
it all myself." At the bar stood a young girl with flame red hair and she
kept eyeing the landlord up. "Got a problem 'ave ya girl?" The girl
smiled, "No I ain't, but it looks like you 'ave. Need an 'and do ya?" The landlord rushed over to her, "Cor, you a fast one 'ainít
ya. Corse I needs an 'and." The girl looked at the landlord again and moved
closer to him, "I'll start now if you like, but I wants paying, two
guineas." "What!" The landlord looked startled. "Take it or
leave it, I can go elsewhere for work." "Okay okay, start now."
Julie proved to be a big hit with the locals and the landlord as well and
proved her worth in gold. "Now
gents, an ladies, time to go 'ome to ya beds, drink up. 'Ere Julie you want to
stay here tonight, plenty of rooms?" Julie
shrugged her shoulders then answered, "Yeah I fink I will."
along the lane towards the village Holmes and Watson were warmly wrapped up as
the night was bitter cold. "I
say Holmes old chap we should have taken a carriage, it blistering cold out
here." Holmes walked on without saying a word to his comrade, he was
listening to every movement and sound the night had to offer.
Suddenly from the direction of the village came a loud long howl.
"Quick Watson, the game is a foot."
The two men ran as fast as they could towards the village and again the
howling came, but this time it was followed by a human scream, "Aaahhhhhhhh!!" The two men continued running towards the village,
"Where is it coming from Holmes?" Asked Watson in between gasps of
air. "The village inn if I'm
not mistaken." Arriving at the
inn the sleuths pounded on the door, suddenly, the sound of glass smashing was
heard and a large figure dived out of it and vanished up the lane towards the
moors. Holmes and Watson kicked the
door in and entered the inn. On the
floor ripped to pieces and dying lay....
The door of
the Cloven Hoof Inn burst asunder under the combined force of Holmes and Watson,
and the sight that greeted their eyes made them stop dead in their tracks. On
the floor lay the remains of the landlord and a young girl.
"Ye Gods what a mess!" Exclaimed Watson.
The two men felt violently sick at the sight and Watson rushed over to
the bar and poured two large brandies. "Here
Holmes old chap, knock this back." The sight of the gory remains and the
stench of freshly torn up flesh and blood was enough to make even the hardest
man feel queasy. Watson rushed over
to the bar again and refilled the glasses.
Holmes now bent down closely to the remains with a kerchief over his
countenance and held out a magnifying glass looking for clues.
"Quickly Watson an envelope if you please."
Watson handed him the package and with some tweezers, Holmes lifted from
the bodies what looked like long blonde hairs.
"Well well well, this is most interesting." Inspector Smith
came through the broken entrance with two constables, "I thought I'd find
you here Holmes." "What do you imply by that remark?" Asked a
calm Holmes. "I'd just like to know how you happen to be here amidst this
mess." Holmes faced the Inspector,Ē Itís quite elementary my
dear Inspector, we had an inkling that the beast my have been the landlord, alas
as you can see, we were wrong." "Yes that's twice now you've been
mistaken, first Lord Paterson, now Jones the landlord, and I thought you were
the great detective." Watson
came forward, "I say, hold on there a moment, Holmes
had quite enough of the Inspector and decided it was time to leave him and his
men to clean up the whole sordid mess. On
the way back to the manor, Watson asked Holmes who he thought the beast was,
Holmes replied quite casually that he thought it could be Mary. Watson was
flabbergasted, "Now hold on old chap it can't be that lovely young lady,
she's too pretty." Holmes
laughed, "Ahh my old comrade, still after the pretty young ladies eh!"
On their entrance into the manor's spacious lounge they found Mary sound
asleep in a great leather armchair near the blazing fire. "There Holmes it
couldn't be Mary she's fast asleep." Holmes
woke Mary with a little shake of her arm, she woke with a start. "Hello
Mary, I'm sorry I woke you but we seem to have a problem."
The three guests of the late Lord Paterson sat together going through all
the clues with generous helpings of brandy.
"So what happens now Mr Holmes, you now know it isn't me who is the
beast, so who could it be." Holmes
studied Mary's face for a few seconds and had to agree with Watson that she was
a very pretty young lady indeed. Just then he jumped up out of his chair,
"Eureka! I have it! It can only be one person, and that one person
Mary sat in silence as Holmes reeled off the facts as to why he came to his
conclusion. "By jingo Holmes I think you may be right." Cried Watson.
"That ninny hammer has been playing us for fools and tried to implicate
Mary as the beast." "Yes,
but where he has failed is by turning up minutes after the murders have taken
place. How would he have known they
had occurred, the station is a good ten minutes from the inn and from where the
old soak was found dead, but he arrived minutes later." Holmes took out his pipe and filled the bowel with a good
helping of Old Virginia, lit it and happily sat down again. "Tomorrow Watson our plan will go into action."
day the Inn was closed due to the horrible deaths even though some drunken clod
pates insisted on trying to get in. "Now then you lot, go 'ome and drink
your 'homebrews, let the dead lay in peace." The constable stood his ground
and the drunks made their way off down the lane.
"'Ere its a bit parky tonight 'ain't it Bill?" "Yep it is
Baker Street Holmes and Watson were enjoying a game of poker and sipping
Napoleon Brandy, "Well Holmes old boy, another case solved. Ingenious plan
you had getting the two constables to stand guard at the inn.
What puzzles me though, is how on earth did you know he would go for the
two men?" Holmes grinned,
"Elementary my dear Watson, Smith had seen me speaking with his constables
later that day, remember I popped out for a walk and came across the two and
chatted to them. In the distance I could see Smith watching intently.
It was a gamble to take I know, but I knew he would bite the leash if
shown it." Watson began
laughing, "Bite the leash, I say Holmes I like it."
COPYRIGHT © Mike McManus 2001