Series Four, Episode Three
Scene: Early morning. Exterior. Martin is walking up the street towards Louisa’s home. The sun is shining. The sky is blue. There is the slightest hint of a spring in Martin’s step and his head is held high. He looks as pleased with the world as he can be expected to look. As he reaches Louisa’s door he takes a moment to straighten his tie before knocking. He stands and waits for a few moments. There is no answer. He glances in the window and knocks again. After another moment the door swings open hurriedly to reveal a slightly ruffled looking man in his early thirties who is not unattractive. He is wearing pyjama pants and a singlet. He has clearly just woken up. Martin is visibly confused and lost for words.
Andrew: (friendly) Good morning.
Martin: (after a moment) Oh. Um. Right. Sorry.
Martin shakes his head and turns away. He looks back as if to check he’s not seeing things then, without a further word, makes a hasty retreat back down the street looking upset and worried. Andrew watches him go, with mild amusement and confusion. He shuts the door and returns inside. Martin glances back at Louisa’s as he continues to stride off, not sure what to make of the man in her home.
Scene: Exterior. Portwenn Grocery Store. Louisa is leaving the store with a bag of groceries, while Mrs Fraser, a parent of a child at Louisa’s school, is entering. Louisa is looking in her bag and doesn’t initially notice Mrs Fraser.
Mrs Fraser: Oh, Miss Glasson.
Louisa: (looking up surprised) Oh, hello Mrs Fraser. How’s Elizabeth? We missed her yesterday at school.
Mrs Fraser: (talking a mile a minute) No too good I’m afraid. Terrible toothache. I’m concerned it may need to come out. Then of course you run the risk of infection. She’ll need to be on antibiotics to ensure an abscess doesn’t develop, not to mention the pain killers. Codeine, I imagine, should be sufficient.
Louisa: (bamboozled by the onslaught of information) Oh right.
Mrs Fraser: I’m taking her off to the Doc this morning. Can’t be too careful with these things.
Louisa: No, I guess not.
Mrs Fraser: She’ll be back at school on Monday though. Don’t you worry about that!
Louisa: Uh huh. She’s had a rough run with her health of late, hasn’t she?
Mrs Fraser: Oh yes. But the Doc has been wonderful. So patient and understanding. Always willing to help.
Louisa: (disbelieving) Really?!
Mrs Fraser: Oh yes. Well I should let you get back to your weekend.
Louisa: Tell Elizabeth I hope she’s feeling better soon.
Mrs Fraser: I will. Thank you Miss Glasson. See you on Monday.
Louisa: Bye now.
Louisa walks away looking a little perplexed by the hurried encounter.
Scene: Exterior. Martin is walking past Bert’s Restaurant towards his Surgery. His Aunt Joan is coming up the steps from Bert’s. Martin sees her and quickens his step to avoid having to stop. Joan spots him.
Martin reluctantly stops and turns back to Aunty Joan.
Martin: (without enthusiasm & clearly in a mood) Aunty Joan.
Joan: What’s the matter with you?
Joan: Yes. Clearly you’re the picture of joy.
Martin: I’m late for surgery.
Joan: It’s Saturday.
Martin: The germs don’t care. I have to go.
Joan: I just thought I’d remind you, the PFA Ball is next weekend.
Joan: Portwenn Farmers’ Association. You will be going won’t you?
Martin: Right. Ah, no. I don’t think I can make that one. I’m re-grouting my tiles that day.
Joan: They’ll expect your support Marty.
Martin: They can expect all they like. Anyway, I do support them. I buy their second-rate, practically inedible produce all the time.
Joan: Yes, well, if we don’t give a little extra helping hand there won’t be any produce to buy.
Martin: A small mercy if you ask me.
Joan: I didn’t.
Martin: Anyway, where’s their support for me?
Joan: People in this village get sick for you all the time!
Martin: Yes. True. It probably is thanks to the members of the Portwenn Farmers’ Association.
Joan: (getting in her truck) Next Saturday!
Martin: (calls after her as she drives off) I’m washing my hair!
Martin continues his walk to the Surgery.
Scene: Interior. Louisa’s home. Louisa enters through the front door, carrying a bag of groceries. Andrew is at the fridge.
Andrew: (with a smile) Good morning.
Louisa: Finally decided to get up did you?
She puts the bag down on the bench.
Louisa: It’s after 9!
Andrew: (looking in the bag) Bacon and eggs!
Louisa: I can’t let you starve.
Louisa begins to get pans and utensils to cook bacon and eggs.
Andrew: You always did look after me.
Louisa: Well somebody had to.
Andrew gives her a hug from behind and a kiss on the cheek.
Andrew: Can I help?
Louisa: You could juice some oranges.
Andrew: Right. Ok. Although I might just freshen up first.
Louisa: (with a smile) Typical! You’re still lazy.
Andrew: But I’m cute.
Louisa: (with a laugh) Yeah, right!
Andrew disappears up the stairs as Louisa cooks the bacon and eggs.
Scene: Interior. Portwenn Surgery Consultation Room. Martin is at his desk reading a medical journal and making summary notes. It is very quiet. He glances up and jumps with fright upon finding PC Penhale standing before his desk. He knocks his knees on the desk and sends a couple of items flying to the floor.
Penhale: Easy there Doc.
Martin: (livid) Penhale! We’ve talked about knocking! Are you incapable of processing the simplest of instructions? Can you not at least try to function like a normal human being!?
Penhale: Right. Sorry Doc. Forgot.
Penhale turns and starts to walk out of the room.
Martin: Where are you going?
Penhale: To knock.
Martin: Well it’s too late now (not quite under his breath) you half-witted genetic throwback.
Penhale: Never too late to mend your ways Doc.
Penhale goes back to the consulting room door and knocks politely. Martin looks at him through hooded eyes and says nothing. Penhale waits for an invitation to come in.
Martin: (through gritted teeth) Come in.
Penhale continues as if nothing has happened.
Penhale: Oh, good morning there Doc. How are you today?
Martin: (condescendingly) Annoyed. You?
Penhale: Very well thanks Doc. Fit as a fiddle.
Martin: Then why are you here?
Penhale: Oh right. Yes. That’s it. Not too well actually. Bit of trouble with the water works.
Penhale: No Doc. Tears. Can’t seem to stop crying.
Martin: Oh God.
Penhale: Completely go to blubber. Over anything – people being nice, people not being nice, people getting married, people getting divorced, things going right, things going wrong, food too hot, food too cold...
Martin looks at him with a furrowed brow of concern.
Martin: When did this start?
Penhale: About a week ago.
Martin: And did anything happen at that time to trigger it?
Penhale: (thinks a moment) No. No. Not that I can recall.
Martin: No significant change to your life or your lifestyle?
Penhale: Well, I guess it was around then The Master died.
Martin: The Master?
Penhale: My pet snake.
Martin: You have a pet snake?
Penhale: Had a pet snake Doc.
Martin: Is that legal.
Penhale: I’m a Police Officer Doc, of course it’s legal.
Martin: Right. (Heavy sarcasm) Now I’m not a psychologist, but you don’t by any chance think the death of your snake has anything to do with your sadness?
Penhale looks like someone has just explained to him the secrets of life and the universe.
Penhale: Well now. I suppose that could well be it. You’re good! That’s why we pay you the big bucks!
Martin: You don’t.
Penhale: Thank you Doc. I knew what the other people said about you wasn’t true.
Martin: What!? What other people? What did they say?
Penhale: Thank you Doc. Gotta dash. Friends coming round and I promised to burn a few movies for them.
Martin: Now that is illegal.
Penhale: Is it?! Yeah right! Nearly got me there Doc.
Martin shakes his head in despair. Penhale gets up and goes to the door, then turns back.
Penhale: So the crying?
Martin: It should pass as you re-adjust to life without “The Master”. If it doesn’t ease in a week or two come back to see me again.
Penhale: Great. Thanks Doc.
Penhale turns and leaves. Martin calls after him.
Martin: And don’t forget to knock.
Scene: Interior. Louisa’s home. Louisa and Andrew are sitting at the table eating their bacon and eggs, with fresh orange juice.
Andrew: You remembered how I like them!
Louisa: Of course
Andrew: (holding up his fork full of food) Delicious.
Louisa: So are you staying this time or are you going to desert me before the sun has set again?
Andrew: I’m not sure how long I’m staying, but I’d like to stay a little longer, if you’ll have me?
Louisa: Do I have a choice?
They smile warmly at each other and continue with their breakfast.
Louisa: Why are you back anyway?
Andrew: That’s a story for another day.
Scene: Exterior. Portwenn Street. Andrew is walking down the street and Pauline approaches in the opposite direction. As they pass each other, Andrew gives her a charming smile. Pauline is suitable charmed.
Andrew: Hello again.
Pauline: (a bit tongue tied) Heya.
Andrew continues to walk down the street and Pauline turns to watch him. She is now walking backwards and slams straight into Martin.
Martin: Pauline! Not only can’t people drive in this place, they can’t walk properly either!
Pauline: (dreamily) He’s back.
Martin follows Pauline’s gaze, which leads to Andrew. He recognises him as the man from Louisa’s.
Martin: You know him?
Pauline: (as if it’s obvious) Well yeah.
Martin: Who is....?
Pauline: (still a world away) Can’t stop Doc. Meeting....meeting...ah bugger, what’s his name?! Meeting...Al! That’s it. Meeting Al! See ya.
Pauline snaps back to reality and strides off away from Martin.
Martin: (calling after her) What about work?!
Pauline: (yells, without turning around) It’s Saturday!
Martin: Oh, yes.
Martin turns back and watches Andrew with curiosity. He stops outside a store. Louisa emerges from the store and they both turn to walk back up the hill toward Martin. Martin hurriedly looks to see if there is somewhere he can hide. He is too late though, as Louisa spots him and calls out.
Martin raises a hand in greeting and waits for Louisa and Andrew to get to him.
Martin: Good morning Louisa.
Andrew: Hello again.
Louisa: (confused) You’ve met.
Andrew: (sensing Martin’s embarrassment) Well almost. (He extends his hand to Martin) Andrew Glasson. Louisa’s brother.
Martin: (visibly relaxes) Oh right. Martin. Martin Ellingham.
Andrew: Of course. Martin. I’ve heard a lot about you, although I’m sure it can’t all be true.
Martin: (embarrassed) Well...only if it’s good.
Andrew: It’s all true then.
Martin: (glancing at Louisa) I, ah, didn’t realise you were coming to visit Andrew.
Andrew: No. Neither did I really. It was all very last minute.
Martin: And are you staying long?
Andrew: Undecided at this stage.
Andrew: At the moment it’s a little overwhelming just being back.
Martin: Yes. The heady fast pace of life here does take some getting used to.
Andrew: True enough. London it isn’t. Never a dull moment all the same. You’re originally from London aren’t you Martin?
Martin: Yes. Kensington most recently. Although I’ve been gone quite some time now.
Louisa is watching the exchange between Martin and her brother with amazement. She is stunned by the ease with which Martin is interacting with Andrew and a little put out by the fact they are both completely ignoring that she is there.
Andrew: A change of scenery is often a good thing.
Martin: Are you staying with Louisa?
Andrew: Yes. Although the welcome wagon is already a bit rickety!
Martin: Don’t mind that. Her bark is worse than her bite...I think.
Louisa: I’m still here you know!
Martin and Andrew simultaneously turn to look at Louisa as if they had quite literally forgotten she was there.
Martin: Right. Well, I best get back to Surgery.
Louisa: It’s Saturday.
Martin: I know!
Louisa: Are we still sorted for dinner tonight?
Martin: Yes. I’ll come to your place at six?
Louisa: (pleased the attention is now back on her) Great.
Martin: Good to meet you Andrew.
Andrew: And really good to finally meet you Martin. (Teasing Louisa) You’re quite something to get through all Lucy’s defences – Fort Knox this one. Can’t remember the last time she had a serious fella.
Louisa: (through gritted teeth to Andrew) Shut up!
Martin: (with raised eyebrow) Lucy?!
Andrew: No doubt I’ll see you again.
Martin: Yes. (Nodding his farewell) Andrew. (With emphasis) Lucy.
Louisa glares at Martin, who walks off toward the Surgery. She then turns her glare to Andrew.
Andrew: (innocently) What?
Scene: Evening. Interior Louisa’s home. There is a knock at the door. Louisa calls down from upstairs.
Louisa: Can you get that?
Andrew opens the door to find Martin on the doorstep.
Andrew: Martin! Come in.
Martin: Thank you.
Louisa comes down the stairs, dressed ready for dinner. Martin looks at her lovingly.
Louisa: Hello Martin.
Andrew: Where are you off to tonight?
Martin: Would you like to come with us Andrew?
Louisa: (in a low voice to Martin) What are you doing?
Andrew: Great! I’ll make myself presentable and can meet you there if you like.
Martin: (looking at his watch) We can wait.
Andrew gives Louisa a happy slap on the shoulder as he dashes upstairs to get ready. Louisa turns a menacing stare on Martin.
Martin: What did I do?
Louisa: You invited my brother to dinner!
Martin: Was that wrong?
Louisa: Well...no. I guess it was actually quite a nice thing to do.
Martin: So what's the problem?
Louisa: I don’t know. You don’t generally do that sort of thing is all – include people, be nice to people, like people.
Martin: Thank you very much. And I like lots of people.
Louisa: Really?! Name one person you like.
Martin: I like you.
Louisa: Apart from me.
Martin: (struggling) Well...there’s....(get’s one) Aunty Joan!
Martin: Well that’s enough isn’t it? I’m about quality, not quantity.
Louisa: (with a smile) Yes.
Martin goes to Louisa’s kitchen shelves and absently starts moving and realigning things.
Martin: (a little uncomfortably) What did Andrew mean earlier today about getting through all your defences?
Louisa: Nothing. Ignore him. He’s a moron.
Martin: I thought you would have had lots of boyfriends.
Louisa: Well. No. Some. Not lots. They didn’t tend to last too long.
Martin: Why not?
Louisa: I don’t know Martin. I guess no one else was you.
Martin stops his rearranging and they hold each other’s gaze. After a few moments Louisa continues.
Louisa: What about you?
Martin: For me there’s only ever been one women (after a pause) Lucy!
Louisa: (distractedly) My mother used to call me that.
Louisa suddenly becomes aware of what Martin is doing – tidying her shelves.
Louisa: Martin. What are you doing?
Martin: Straightening your cups.
Martin: They’re all crooked.
Martin: All the handles are facing different directions.
Louisa: (sarcastically) Oh, well, if that’s the case...
Martin gives her a look.
Louisa: I can get you a t-square and a protractor if you like?!
Martin: No. That’s fine. I can do it by sight.
Louisa: So the Portwenn Farmers’ Association Ball is next Saturday.
Martin: Yes, I heard. The local meat market.
Louisa: Portwenn’s answer to Saturday Night Fever.
Martin: Fred and Ginger.
Louisa: Disco Inferno.
Martin: Bonnie and Clyde.
Louisa: Bonnie and Clyde?
Martin: They shoot horses in Portwenn don’t they?
Louisa: So I take it you’re not planning on going then?
Martin: No. Ah, I can’t make it unfortunately. I already have plans.
Louisa: What plans?
Martin: I’m, ah, rewiring the Surgery. Are you going?
Louisa: I thought I might. Yes.
Martin: Oh. Right.
Louisa: I guess I’ll just have to find someone else to dance with then.
Martin: (jealously) Who?!
Louisa: Well I don’t know Martin. The possibilities are endless.
Martin: Who do you know who’s going?
Louisa: Oh it doesn’t have to be someone I know.
Martin: What? Why? It does.
Louisa: No, it is a meat market after all.
Martin looks concerned. Louisa gives him a smile of satisfaction. Andrew comes bounding down the stairs.
Andrew: Right. Let’s hit the town!
Scene: Interior. Portwenn Pub. Evening. Louisa, Martin and Andrew enter. It’s quite a busy evening. Andrew scans the crowd.
Andrew: A few familiar faces, but a couple of new ones too.
At that moment, PC Penhale walks up.
Penhale: Evening Doc. Louisa.
Louisa: Hello Joe.
Penhale extends his hand to Andrew.
Penhale: PC Joseph Penhale. Portwenn’s man on the street. No crime too small.
Martin: (to Andrew) A few are too big though.
Andrew smiles at Martin, and then turns to Penhale.
Andrew: Good to meet you Penhale. Andrew Glasson. I’m pleased I’ll be in safe hands while I’m here.
Penhale: (beginning to tear up) You’re very kind. I have to go.
Martin: Oh God.
Louisa: What’s that all about?
Andrew: New age policing?
Martin: His snake died.
Andrew: Interesting chap.
Martin: Yes. Three stooges all rolled into one. Makes Inspector Clouseau look like a genius.
Andrew: So who else do we have?
Martin: (pointing to Bert) Bert Large you probably know – over-fed, over-medicated, under-ambitious local restaurateur, who obviously hasn’t seen the value in working the busiest night of the week.
Andrew: Yep. Right.
Martin: (pointing to Al) His long suffering son Al, who is potentially one of the only people in Portwenn with any discernable talent and work ethic.
Louisa: Thank you Martin. The way you manage to turn a compliment into an insult so effortlessly is quite remarkable.
Martin: (pointing to Pauline) Pauline Lamb.
Andrew: Pauline! That’s right.
Martin: Living proof that you literally don’t need a brain to continue breathing.
Louisa: (with a disapproving look at Martin) She’s Martin’s receptionist and phlebotomist, and Martin know good and well that his Surgery could not function without her!
Martin: Not strictly true.
Andrew: (sensing Louisa is getting stroppy) Right. Shall we eat?
Louisa: Yes. Let’s, before Martin starts introducing any more people so very eloquently.
Louisa takes Martin’s hand, like a mother would a cheeky child, and they all head towards a table.
Time lapse to later in the evening. Andrew is now standing at the bar with a beer, talking to Al, Pauline and Bert. Martin and Louisa are still sitting at the table, engaged in a spirited conversation. We join them mid-conversation.
Louisa: It serves no purpose, other than allowing bureaucrats to justify their own pay check. The educational experience of a child in Portwenn is markedly different to that of a child in East End London, or Knightsbridge or Newcastle.
Martin: Well it shouldn’t be.
Louisa: Of course it should.
Martin: Every child should have the chance to experience the same level of education, regardless of socio-economic status.
Louisa: And they do. But there’s no point teaching them to run if they can’t yet walk. For those kids who struggle, National Testing completely takes the wind out of their sails.
Martin: So they’re sailing now are they?
Louisa: They may have made amazing personal progress, but it counts for nothing in a National Test if they’re still below the benchmark. It shatters their confidence.
Martin: They have to face facts sooner or later.
Martin: Not everyone gets to win Louisa. Some people lose.
Martin: They’re not going to get to their first job, write a report filled with errors and have their supervisor compliment them on their fine choice of paper colour.
Louisa: Martin! They’re not even 10 yet! My job is to build their confidence, not destroy it!
Martin: You do them no favours by deluding them. Sooner or later they’ll discover the harsh truth of the world.
Louisa: Well, I’d rather it was later thank you very much. At least give them a chance.
Martin: If they are strong enough, they’ll rise above their circumstances. Growth through hardship.
Louisa: I’m sorry Martin. I think you’re wrong.
Martin: And I you.
They sit looking at each other silently for a minute. Neither willing to change their viewpoint.
Louisa: It’d do you no harm to admit you’re wrong once in a while.
Martin: Yes it would.
Louisa: No it wouldn’t.
Martin: But I’m not wrong.
Louisa: You are this time.
Martin: It’d do you no harm to admit I’m right.
Louisa: But you’re not right!
Martin: I am.
Louisa: Well, we’re not getting anywhere arguing like this. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.
Martin: Fine. I suppose every village needs its idiot.
Martin looks at Louisa with a cocked eyebrow.
Louisa: Who’s the idiot?!
Martin: (matter of fact) You are.
Louisa: (stunned) I am?!
Louisa: I’m the idiot?!
Martin: That’s right.
Louisa grabs her handbag and coat and storms off. Martin calls after her, genuinely not sure why she’s leaving.
Andrew notices Louisa storm past then looks back to Martin who is now sitting alone, looking perplexed. Bert notices too. He walks over to Martin.
Bert: Bit of a bust up hey Doc?
Martin: Go away Bert.
Bert: Women like Louisa don’t come along too often for men like you and me Doc.
Martin: What do you mean?
Bert: Beautiful on the outside and the inside.
Bert: You ought to do all you can to hold on to her with both hands.
Martin: Yes. For future reference Bert, I’d prefer if you didn’t lump us into the same category. For any reason. Ever.
Martin stands up to leave.
Martin: Goodbye Bert.
Bert: Just trying to help.
Martin leaves and Bert watches him go. Andrew also watches Martin now leave. He raises a quizzical eyebrow.
Scene: Same evening. Interior. Louisa’s home. Louisa is in the kitchen. There is a knock at the door. She goes and opens it and finds Martin standing on the stoop.
Louisa: Hello Martin. Come in.
Louisa steps aside to let Martin in, then closes the door.
Martin: I did something wrong didn’t I?
Martin: I didn’t intend to upset you.
Louisa: Your words have consequences Martin. You need to use them carefully. They affect people – good and bad.
Martin: I’m certain I don’t hold that much power over people Louisa. Generally they don’t even listen to what I say.
Louisa: Do you not think it upsets me to have you call me an idiot?!
Martin: It shouldn’t.
Louisa: It does!
Martin: You know you’re not an idiot.
Louisa: But you think I am.
Martin: I don’t.
Louisa: You said I was.
Martin: Well...technically...but you know I don’t believe that.
Louisa: How do I know that? You never tell me otherwise.
Martin: You’re not an idiot. Happy?
Martin: Well what else do you want me to do?
Louisa: (challenging him) Say something nice to me.
Louisa: Something kind. Something sweet. Something that makes me feel valued and cared for.
Martin: Yes, yes, alright!
Louisa: Come on.
Louisa: You can’t do it, can you!?
Martin: I can, just give me a moment! You’re pressuring me.
Louisa: Insults flow thick and fast, but a kind word...well, you just can’t quite manage that can you Martin?!
Martin: I can. I will.
Louisa: I don’t think you have the ability to be nice and say positive things.
Martin: Of course I do. I just choose not to lie to people.
Louisa: I’m not asking you to lie. Just don’t insult everyone. Leave out the bad, just say the good.
Martin: Why should I?
Louisa: Self improvement.
Martin: I don’t need improving.
Louisa raises her eyebrows.
Louisa: Not of you. Of everyone that comes in contact with you!
Martin: Oh, thank you very much. What’s in it for me then?
Louisa: If you can do it you’d have the joy of proving me wrong.
Martin: I can do that anytime.
Louisa: Alright then. A whole week without insulting anyone. Prove me wrong, but if you fail, you have to go to the PFA Ball with me next Saturday.
Martin: And if I succeed?
Louisa: You don’t have to go.
Martin: Well that’s hardly fair. A dignity for a dignity I say.
Louisa: What did you have in mind?
Martin: Your problem is...
Martin: ...is that you pander to everyone. Tell them what they want to hear. Don’t say what you’re really thinking. So I propose you do the opposite. If I can do this, and I can, I don’t go to the ball and you spend the next week saying exactly what’s on your mind.
Martin: Exactly. No sugar coating. No telling people what they want to hear. The thought that’s on your mind comes out of your mouth.
Louisa: I can do that.
Martin: No. I doubt it.
Louisa: But not at work.
Martin: Why not?
Louisa: I could get fired.
Martin: But surely you don’t have bad thoughts at work Louisa?
Louisa: (indignant) No. Well, sometimes maybe. I’ll tell you this much, you’re in for a rude awakening if I lose.
Martin: What?! Why?!
Louisa: Do we have a deal?
Martin: We do.
They shake hands and look intently at one another. They continue to hold hands.
Louisa: No insults for a whole week, to me or anyone. And no sarcasm. I’ll be checking in with Pauline, so don’t think you can slip in any sneaky remarks at the Surgery.
Martin: I wouldn’t dare.
Martin pulls Louisa close and leans in to kiss her, just as the front door opens and Andrew strides in.
Andrew: So you’ve kissed and made up! Thank goodness for that. I thought I was going to have to play relationship counsellor.
Martin and Louisa move apart.
Louisa: Well, nearly.
Martin: I’d best be off. Goodnight Louisa. Andrew.
Andrew: Night Martin.
Louisa and Martin share a smile and Martin let’s himself out the front door. Louisa turns to Andrew.
Louisa: Good night?
Andrew: I’d forgotten how much I like it here.
Louisa: I’m glad.
Andrew: (cocking his head to the side) You seem happy too.
Louisa: (as if it is a revelation to her) Yes. I suppose I am.
Scene: Exterior. Morning. Portwenn Primary School front gate. Louisa has been welcoming the children at the start of the school day and chatting with the parents. The last of the children head toward the school rooms and Louisa follows. She stops when she hears her name called.
Mrs Fraser: Miss Glasson!?
Mrs Fraser and her daughter Elizabeth are racing up to the school gate.
Mrs Fraser: I’m so sorry we’re late Miss Glasson. Poor Elizabeth’s not been well. We’ve been at Emergency most of the night.
Louisa: Oh. Not the tooth?
Mrs Fraser: Well you never know with these things. Poor pet. The Doc’s checked her out good and proper, but apparently couldn’t find anything though. She had quite a fever. I’m sure she’s coming down with a bug or virus.
Louisa: Is she right to be back at school?
Mrs Fraser: Oh yes. Nothing contagious I shouldn’t think, but if you wouldn’t mind keeping an eye on her?
Louisa: Yes of course.
Mrs Fraser: Give me a call if she’s not well. I’m just at home, doing the ironing again. TV for company.
Louisa: We’ll take good care of her.
Mrs Fraser: I may pop out for a bit before lunch.
Louisa: That’s not a problem. I’d best get Elizabeth to class now.
Mrs Fraser: Yes. Sorry.
Louisa: See you later.
Mrs Fraser: My number’s at the office.
Louisa: It’ll be fine. Bye now.
Louisa placing a guiding hand on Elizabeth’s back.
Louisa: Say bye to mum.
Elizabeth: (shyly) Bye.
Louisa and Elizabeth walk off toward the school buildings.
Scene: Interior. Afternoon. Portwenn Surgery Consultation Room. Martin is sitting behind his desk facing a mother and her son.
Martin: Mrs Honeycut, your son has a broken collar bone.
Mrs H: What?! Oh my poor boy!
Martin: Yes. When did this happen?
Mrs H: On Sunday, at football.
Martin: And today is Tuesday. Can you tell me why precisely you chose to leave your child in agony for two whole days?!
Mrs H: Well, my husband...
Martin: Oh, yes, blame... (stops himself). Sorry. You were saying.
Mrs H: Right. Well...my husband said he’d be fine. Didn’t want to make a wimp out of him, running to the hospital at the first sign of pain. Thought he’d just jarred it. But he was having a bit of trouble writing at school today and then in sport he tried throwing a ball and the teacher said he just cried out in pain. So I brought him right here.
Martin: (controlling his anger) Mrs Honeycut. (Slowly and deliberately) I recommend you always listen to your instincts and there is no harm in visiting a Doctor and getting the all clear. Now, unfortunately for your son, one of many misfortunes it would seem, there is not a lot we can do for a broken collar bone. The first forty-eight hours are the most painful, but I’ll prescribe some pain medication in case he still needs it. His arm will tell him what he is and is not capable of and he can wear a sling, mainly to stop others from being careless around him. I’d like to see you back in two weeks when we can arrange for another x-ray and check his progress. (Speaking to the son) Until then Connor, you need to take it easy and not do anything that gives you pain.
Mrs H: Right. Thank you Doctor.
Martin: You’re welcome. Off you go then.
Mrs Honeycut and Connor get up and leave the Consultation Room.
Scene: Interior. Same time. Portwenn Surgery Reception. Pauline is at her desk. Mrs Honeycut goes up to the desk.
Pauline: How’d you go Mrs Honeycut?
Mrs H: A broken collar bone I’m afraid Pauline, like I thought! Bloody Phil!
Pauline: The Doc alright then was he?
Mrs H: Oh yes.
Pauline: Treated you well?
Mrs H: Yes, yes.
Pauline: Didn’t insult you or anything?
Mrs H: (confused by all the questioning) Ah, no Pauline. He was very professional, I think.
Pauline: Really?! Shame. Another day down without an incident.
Mrs H: An appointment for two weeks time please Pauline.
Pauline: Hokey dokey.
Scene: Exterior shots of Portwenn to show the transition from night to the next day.
Scene: Interior. Next morning. Portwenn Surgery Consultation Room. Martin is preparing his desk for the day ahead. There is a gentle knock on the door and Louisa sticks her head in.
Martin: (pleased to see her) Louisa.
Martin: Good morning.
Louisa: Am I interrupting?
Martin: No. Come in. Are you ok?
Louisa: Yes. Fine.
Louisa sits opposite Martin at his desk.
Louisa: Um, Martin?
Martin: Yes Louisa.
Louisa: Right, well. I know you don’t discuss your clients...
Louisa: Yes, sorry, patients. But I’m really worried about one of my students. I just need you to put my mind at ease and tell me I’m overreacting.
Martin: You’re overreacting.
Louisa: You don’t even know who the child is yet!
Martin: Right. Sorry. Who is it then?
Louisa: Elizabeth Fraser.
Louisa: No what?
Martin: She’s not my patient.
Louisa: She must be.
Martin: Unfortunately, in this instance Louisa, you're mistaken.
Louisa: But she’s been turning up at school with a different ailment everyday for weeks now. Her mother bails me up for an age telling me that the Doc said this and the Doc said that.
Martin: Well, she’s not coming here. Perhaps she’s been going to Wadebridge.
Louisa: Maybe. Although I thought she said Doc Martin. Perhaps she didn’t.
Louisa is lost in thought trying to remember the conversations with Mrs Fraser.
Martin: Don’t be too hard on yourself Louisa. We all make errors from time to time. Well I don’t, but I hear that others do.
Louisa: (with a sideways glance) Careful Martin...
Martin: If there’s anything else, my door is always open. Except when it’s closed, and then you may need to knock.
Louisa: I’m sure she said Doc Martin. Who’s the Doctor in Wadebridge?
Martin: Michael Montgomery.
Martin: I’ve not seen her.
Louisa: You’d remember her too. She’s had everything from a cold to a cracked rib.
Martin: Well some children do have a weakened immune system. Others are accident prone. Some are both.
Louisa: No it’s more than that.
Martin: What is it then?
Louisa: I can’t put my finger on it just yet, but there’s something odd.
Martin: Elizabeth Fraser?
Martin: And what’s the mother’s name?
Martin: No. Doesn’t ring a bell either.
Louisa: Come to think of it, she did say the Doc was particularly patient and helpful, so maybe it wasn’t you after all.
Louisa smiles at Martin and stands up.
Louisa: Well, I better get back to work.
Martin stands also and come around to Louisa’s side of the desk.
Louisa: Afraid so.
Martin puts his arms around Louisa’s waist and they embrace. Pauline walks into the Consultation Room and recoils in mock revulsion, covering her eyes.
Pauline: Oh. Gross. Gee Doc, get a room would you!
Louisa pulls away and smiles at Pauline. She then gives Martin a quick kiss.
Louisa leaves. Martin watches her go then turns and glares at Pauline.
Martin: I’ve got a room and you’re in it!
Martin strides off into the kitchen as Pauline smiles to herself.
Scene: Interior. Evening. Louisa’s home. There is a knock at the door. Louisa answers it. Martin is there.
Louisa: Oh! Hello Martin. This is a surprise. I didn’t expect to see you this evening.
Martin: Oh, right. Didn’t Andrew tell you?
Louisa: Tell me what?
Martin: Ah, well, he and I are going out.
Martin: To Bert’s. For dinner.
Louisa: (hurt) Without me?
Martin: Well Andrew invited me. I assumed you had something else on.
Louisa: (short) Right.
Martin: You’re welcome to come.
Louisa: No. That’s fine. Go off on your little man-date.
Louisa: I’ll get Andrew.
Louisa storms up the stairs, and Martin overhears her yelling.
Louisa: Andrew, you’re boyfriend is here.
Andrew comes down the stairs.
Andrew: Ew! I think we’ve made an enemy tonight.
Martin: You didn’t invite Louisa?
Andrew: Don’t worry Martin. She’ll get over it. Lucy doesn’t know how to hold a grudge.
They go out the front door, Andrew shutting the door behind them.
Scene: Interior. Next afternoon. Mrs Tishell’s Pharmacy. Martin enters.
Mrs Tishell: Good afternoon Doctor.
Martin: Mrs Tishell.
Mrs Tishell: It’s a lovely day is it not? The sun is shining...
Martin: Birds are singing. Yes, all very delightful.
Mrs Tishell: Shame to be stuck in doors. Although, I guess you’re out and about.
Martin: I am. Yes. Mrs Tishell? Has Mrs Fraser been in here with her daughter Elizabeth at all?
Mrs Tishell: Oh yes.
Mrs Tishell: It’d be quicker to say when she hasn’t been in here. Picking up prescriptions for this and that. Over the counter things too.
Martin: (testy) And that didn’t strike you as strange?
Mrs Tishell: Well no. She works with the old folk you see. Collects their prescriptions for them. Oh dear, have I done something wrong?
Martin: No. No. Thank you Mrs Tishell. Goodbye.
Mrs Tishell: Good day Doctor. (To herself) Oh I’ve let him down again.
Martin leaves mumbling to himself as he goes.
Scene: Exterior. Same time. Street outside Mrs Tishell’s.
Martin: (to himself) Honestly, even half a brain...
In his haste Martin runs into Louisa.
Martin: Oh sorry. (Realises it’s Louisa) Louisa!
Louisa: (short) Hello Martin. How was your date?
Martin: (soothingly) Louisa.
Louisa: No. Sorry. You’re entitled to do what you like, with whoever you like. I’m not your keeper.
Martin: I don’t understand.
Louisa: (exhaling a big calming breath) I know.
Martin: I thought you’d want me to like your brother.
Louisa: I do want you to like my brother.
Martin: Then what’s the problem?
Louisa: (embarrassed) I want you to like me more.
Martin: I do like you more.
Louisa: But...you...he...argh! I’m jealous alright. There I’ve said it.
Martin: You’re jealous?
Louisa: Yes. Green.
Martin: Of who?
Louisa: Oh, for God’s sake Martin! Of Andrew!
Louisa: Because you’re spending all this time with him and I want you to want to be with me.
Martin: I do want to be with you.
Louisa: Sorry. I’m being ridiculous.
Martin: Yes. You are a bit.
Louisa looks pleadingly at Martin, imploring him to reassure her.
Louisa: It’s just...well...normally I’m the only person in the room who you...well...I don’t know...I guess I don’t want to share you with anyone.
Martin: (stirring) Have you ever considered therapy Louisa?
Louisa: I know. I know. It’s silly.
Louisa walks closer to Martin and places her hands on his chest.
Louisa: You do like me more than him don’t you?
Martin: Will you come to dinner tonight? At my place?
Louisa: No Andrew?
Martin: No Andrew.
Louisa: Alright then.
They begin to walk up the street together, away from camera.
Louisa: What was that about half a brain?
Martin: Ah, nothing.
Louisa: Don’t forget our deal.
Scene: Interior. Evening. Martin’s kitchen. Martin is preparing the dinner, while Louisa sits on the table with a glass of wine.
Martin: How much longer is Andrew staying?
Louisa: I don’t imagine it’ll be too much longer. There are too many things in London he’d be missing. He’s never been one to stop for too long.
Louisa: What about you Martin? What do you miss about London?
Martin: Not that much actually.
Louisa: Really? What was your life like there?
Martin: Much the same as here I suppose. Just busier and more stressful. I worked a lot more and there were less insane people. Actually, strictly speaking, that’s probably not even true.
Louisa: You don’t ever regret leaving?
Louisa: And you don’t ever wish you could go back?
Louisa: That’s good.
They maintain a companionable silence for a few moments.
Louisa: Elizabeth Fraser had another complaint again today.
Martin: What was it this time? Glue ear?
Louisa: No. Her mother wanted me to keep an eye on her nose. She said it was a little red and swollen and she was concerned it could be a staph infection.
Martin: A staph infection?
Martin: That’s highly improbable. Not impossible I suppose, but definitely improbable.
Martin: And did you? Keep an eye on her?
Louisa: Of course.
Martin: And was it? A staph infection?
Louisa: Of course not. The poor child has a slight cold and was wiping her nose a lot.
Martin: Right. And the mother had obviously been to see the doctor about it?
Louisa: Yes. Not you I take it?
Louisa: Has she ever been a patient here? I mean before your time.
Martin: I can check if you like.
Louisa: Would you?
Martin: Right. Don’t let the sauce burn.
Martin strides out of the kitchen to go check the patient records. Louisa goes to watch the sauce. She glances around the kitchen, pausing on the perfectly aligned row of cups on the shelf. She walks over to the cups and mugs and cheekily moves them so all the handles are pointing in different directions. She hears Martin returning so races back to the sauce on the cook top. Martin returns holding a big bundle of patient notes.
Martin: Well I never treated her, but it seems she was a regular with Doc Sim. There’s a list of complaints as long as your arm.
Louisa: My arm or your arm?
Louisa: Never mind.
Martin: She’s been tested for everything from tonsillitis to thyroid dysfunction.
Martin: I guess it’s possible she is genuinely ill. Does she seem like a sickly child?
Louisa: No. Quite the opposite. She seems like she’s just bursting with energy, but isn’t allowed to use it.
Martin: (looking through the notes) Yes. Most of these tests seem to have come back clear. I’d say the problem isn’t with the child, but with the mother.
Louisa: What do you mean?
Martin: Have you ever heard of Munchausen’s by Proxy?
Louisa: You think her mother...
Martin: Is making up illnesses for her daughter. She’s craving the attention that the doctor’s are giving her.
Louisa: But surely sometimes she really is sick Martin? You can’t fake a cracked rib.
Martin: Her mother could be making her sick.
Martin: Yes. It’s possible old Doc Sim started to suspect something, unlikely I grant you, so she changed doctors and didn’t have the records forwarded to avoid suspicion. She could be going to several different doctors.
Louisa: So what do we do?
Martin: We don’t do anything. She’s not my patient and all of this is just speculation. I can’t be sure without seeing the daughter and the mother.
Louisa: But she’s my student Martin. I have a duty of care.
Louisa: I should talk to the mother.
Martin: I doubt she’ll admit anything. People with Munchausen’s by Proxy are very knowledgeable and crafty in their deceit. Their abuse can be psychological as well as physical.
Louisa: If she’s harming her daughter on purpose, I can’t sit by and do nothing.
Martin: Do you have evidence?
Louisa: Well, no.
Martin: Well you need to get some.
Martin: I don’t know.
Louisa: Big help you are!
Martin: I’m a doctor, not a detective.
Louisa: Well, I’m a teacher, not a doctor or a detective. (Thinking) We register all the absences and illnesses at school. I guess I could keep monitoring things.
Martin: If I could get to see the girl, or even better the mother, then we might be able to help.
Both Martin and Louisa stand thinking. Martin’s gaze is caught by his shelf.
Martin: What happened to my cups?!
Scene: Interior. Later same evening. Martin’s kitchen. Martin and Louisa are cleaning up after dinner together.
Louisa: All done.
She hangs up her tea towel and goes to Martin, and puts her arms around his waist.
Louisa: Thank you for a lovely dinner Martin and for listening to my woes.
Martin: You welcome.
She kisses him tenderly. Then they continue to embrace.
Martin: Will you stay?
Louisa: I’d better not.
Martin: You’re welcome to.
Louisa: If I stay, I might never want to leave.
Martin kisses her again.
Louisa: We should take it slowly this time Martin.
Louisa gives Martin a quick kiss, breaks away and heads to the door.
She waves and leaves. Martin takes a deep breath.
Scene: Exterior. Portwenn Primary School. Next morning. A class of children are playing netball. Elizabeth Fraser is standing off to one side, leaning on crutches. Louisa is standing with her.
Louisa: How did you hurt your ankle Elizabeth?
Elizabeth: Um. Well. I just sort of twisted it. It’s not too bad.
Louisa: Did you go to the doctor then?
Elizabeth: Yes. Had x-rays and all. He said it’s not too bad.
Louisa: But he gave you crutches?
Elizabeth: Oh no. Mum hired them from the pharmacy in Wadebridge.
Louisa: Oh right.
Elizabeth: She said I ought to stay off it. Don’t want to make it worse or do permanent damage. She’s right.
Louisa: Uh huh.
At that moment a stray netball flies past Louisa and Elizabeth. Instinctively, Elizabeth drops her crutches and goes to catch the ball. She misses, but takes off chasing it.
Elizabeth: I’ll get it!
She runs off after the ball without a care in the world. As she picks up speed, she stumbles and falls to the ground. Despite putting her hands out to stop the fall, her face hits the bitumen. There is a collective gasp from the other students. Louisa runs to her side.
Louisa: Elizabeth! Are you all right?
Elizabeth rolls over to look at Louisa. Blood is oozing from her nose.
Louisa: You’re alright Elizabeth. Just a little blood.
Elizabeth: Oh yes, I’m fine.
Louisa grimaces as she notices what is clearly a broken arm, resting at Elizabeth’s side.
Louisa: Actually, Charlie, run and ask Mrs Gordon to phone Doctor Ellingham. Tell her Elizabeth has hurt her arm.
Charlie runs back to the school building.
Elizabeth: Oh no. I’m ok. Not Doc Martin. Mum doesn’t want me to see Doc Martin.
Louisa: It’s ok. I’ll call your mum too.
Elizabeth: Ooo, she’ll be cross.
Scene: Interior. A little bit later. School sick room. Martin is putting the finishing touches on Elizabeth’s temporary bandage, with Louisa at his side.
Martin: There you are Elizabeth. Nearly as good as new.
Elizabeth’s mother bursts into the room.
Mrs Fraser: What’s happened?!
Martin: It appears your daughter may have broken her arm Mrs Fraser.
Mrs Fraser: The radius or ulna?
Martin: I believe it’s the radius.
Mrs Fraser: Green stick or clean break?
Martin: I can’t be sure at this stage. X-rays will tell us more.
Mrs Fraser: (looking at Elizabeth) How did this happen?
Elizabeth is embarrassed and a little scared.
Louisa: It appears her ankle wasn’t too bad after all Mrs Fraser. She was chasing a ball and tripped.
Mrs Fraser: (menacingly) I told you not to hop off those crutchers!
Elizabeth: But mum, my ankle is fine.
Mrs Fraser: What would you know?! Clearly it is not. Look what you’ve done!
Martin: Mrs Fraser. Your daughter’s ankle is completely normal. It would appear your daughter has been misdiagnosed on several occasions of late and I’d like her, and you, to come up to my Surgery at some time so I can give you both a complete check up.
Mrs Fraser: I’ll do no such thing.
Martin: It would be in your best interest.
Mrs Fraser: You are not our doctor.
Martin: Mrs Fraser, if you don’t come up to my Surgery Miss Glasson will be forced to file a report with the Child Protection Authority, listing the multitude of illnesses and injuries your daughter has suffered. She has had what would be considered an extraordinary number of sick days and out-of-the-ordinary illnesses. We would like to sort this out.
Mrs Fraser: (turning on Louisa) Oh, I should have known you’d run off to your boyfriend. So much for patient confidentiality.
Martin: Mrs Fraser. You are not my patient and you are being ridiculous and seemingly harming your daughter in the process. I believe you yourself may be ill and I’d like to help you before the damage you do is irreversible. Miss Glasson has been nothing but professional and her main concern is the welfare of your daughter. Now you have a choice – will I see you and your daughter in my surgery tomorrow or will I be helping Miss Glasson file her report?
Elizabeth is looking from face to face. Louisa is looking at Martin with admiration.
Mrs Fraser: Tomorrow’s Saturday.
Martin: I’ll be there until 12.
Mrs Fraser: Fine! Tomorrow. But there’s nothing wrong with me. It’s Elizabeth who’s sick.
Martin: Well, we’ll find out tomorrow won’t we? Right now you need to get your daughter off for x-rays and to have that arm set.
Mrs Fraser: Fine. Elizabeth, let’s go. (With a glare) Miss Glasson. Doctor.
Elizabeth and her mother leave. Louisa looks at Martin and smiles. Martin returns her look.
Louisa: You never cease to amaze me Martin.
Martin: (embarrassed) Well...I was just doing my job.
Louisa: Thank you.
Martin: You’re welcome.
Louisa: And not an insult in sight.
Martin: No. No indeed. Looks like I’ll be able to re-calibrate my clocks tomorrow after all.
Louisa: There’s still one day to go Martin, but I guess I’d best invite a backup date to the ball all the same, yeah?
Martin: (frowns at the idea) I guess so.
Louisa: (disappointed) Right. I’ll do that then.
Martin: (worried) Good.
Scene: Interior. Saturday morning. Portwenn Surgery Reception Area. Martin is filing some notes and Pauline is turning off her computer.
Pauline: So was Mrs Fraser nuts?
Martin: Not really a medical term, but yes, I’d say she is.
Pauline: (shaking her head) That poor kid.
Martin: Yes. (After a pause) Thank you for coming in Pauline.
Pauline: I’ve got to say Doc, I’m not really a fan of the new you. It’s a little off-putting.
Martin: Yes, well.
Louisa enters the Reception area in somewhat of a rush.
Louisa: Did she come?
Martin: Yes. Yes she did.
Martin: I’ve referred her to a specialist. Whether or not she follows it through is now out of our hands.
Louisa: Thank you Martin.
Pauline: Well, I’ve got to go and tart myself up for the ball.
Louisa: Yes. (Looking at Martin) Me too I suppose.
Pauline: Who are you going with Louisa?
Martin: Yes, which pea-brained Portwennian have you conned into going to this farcical excuse of a fundraiser?
Louisa’s mouth drops open in a shocked smile. She turns grinning to Pauline as Martin continues.
Martin: Which sad sucker has to suffer the indignity of pretending to enjoy himself while those around him take leave of their dignity?
Louisa: (happily) Well that’s irrelevant now, cause you just lost the bet!
Martin: (without conviction) What!? No I didn’t.
Louisa: Oh, but you did! Pea-brained, farce, sucker. Oh yes Martin, you lose!.
Martin: That doesn’t count!
Pauline: Oh yeah, you lost Doc.
Louisa: Suit up Martin. You’re coming to the ball.
Martin: (trying to look unimpressed) Fine!
Martin turns to go back into the Consultation Room with the faintest hint of a smile on his face. Louisa is chuffed.
Scene: Exterior. Evening. Louisa’s home. Martin is at her door. After a moment the door opens to reveal Louisa, who is frocked up for the ball. Her hair is freely tumbling over her shoulders. Martin is visibly taken with her and unable to speak. She is pleased.
Louisa: Come in Martin. I’ll just be a moment.
Martin follows Louisa inside, watching her every move, as she puts a couple of things away in the kitchen and gathers her handbag. He finally finds his voice.
She stops and turns to him.
Martin: That's a...ah...You're...
Louisa: It’s alright Martin. The bet’s over. You don’t have to be nice any more.
Martin: (with complete adoration) I know. It’s just...You look so...
Louisa: Look so...?
At that moment Andrew comes charging down the stairs. He’s in a suit.
Andrew: Hey! It’s the Doc.
Martin turns reluctantly from Louisa and greets Andrew.
Andrew realises too late that he’s interrupted a “moment”.
Andrew: Sorry Doc. I didn’t mean to...
Martin: It’s fine. Are you coming to the ball?
Andrew: Yes. Do you mind if I tag along?
Martin: No. No. That’s fine.
Andrew: Great. Ready to head off then? Lucy?
Martin: After you.
Andrew heads out the door, followed by Louisa. As she passes Martin they look at each other and smile.
Martin: (nodding in Andrew’s direction) Back up date?
Louisa: Uh huh.
Martin is last out the door.
Scene: Interior. Later that evening. Portwenn Hall. The Portwenn Farmers’ Association Ball is in full swing. All the regulars are present. Martin and Louisa are sitting at a table towards the back of the hall. Most people are out on the dance floor. They are sitting watching, quietly content in each other’s company. After a moment Louisa looks at Martin, who, sensing her gaze, looks back.
Louisa: Will you dance with me Martin?
Martin: (clearly not confident) Ah, well. That wasn’t part of the bet.
Louisa: No. But will you do it anyway?
Martin: I’m not...I can’t really...You’d...
Louisa: You don’t even really need to dance. Just hold me.
Out of nowhere, Andrew appears with his hand outstretched to Louisa.
Louisa looks at Martin, hoping he’ll step up. Andrew notices.
Andrew: You don’t mind do you Doc?
Martin: No. That’s fine. That’s good.
Louisa takes Andrew’s hand and he leads her out to the dance floor. She glances over her shoulder at Martin as she goes. Martin looks a little dejected on his own. Andrew and Louisa cut quite a pair on the dance floor.
Al and Pauline are standing at the bar watching the evening unfold. Pauline notices Louisa and Andrew and then the Doc on his own.
Pauline: Do you think I should ask the Doc to dance Al? Look, he’s all by himself.
Al: What if he says yes?
Pauline: I’m sure he’d cut some fine moves out there on the dance floor.
Al: I think you should dance with me actually.
Pauline: Oh alright then, if you’re going to twist my arm.
Al: No. No arm twisting. Just poetry in motion – that’s me.
Pauline: Oh please Al Large! I’ll be happy if I finish the night with all my toes still intact!
Al: Nice Paul.
Martin watches as Pauline and Al make their way to the dance floor. Joan comes up to Martin at his table.
Martin: Aunty Joan.
Joan: You came. Finally embracing some community spirit are you?
Martin: Mmm. Don’t get used to it.
Joan: You’re here with Louisa?
Joan: Abandoned you already has she?
Martin: (indicating the dance floor) Got a better offer.
Joan: I see. And you’re just going to sit here are you?
Martin: Well I left my knitting at home, so really I have no choice.
Joan: You could always cut in.
Martin: I don’t dance.
Joan: Nonsense. You don’t try is what you don’t do. It’s not a competition Martin.
Martin: I know.
Joan: You think Louisa wants to dance with her brother all night?
Joan: She wants to be with you Marty. The Lord knows why, miserable bugger you are sometimes!
Martin: Thank you Aunty Joan.
Joan: Oh go on Martin, get out there!
Joan: (shrugs) Your choice.
Joan leaves and Martin sits watching Louisa for a while. He then stands tall and heads out to the dance floor. Joan notices and smiles.
Louisa and Andrew are dancing when Martin appears nervously beside them. He addresses himself to Andrew.
Martin: Ah...can I...? (He points to Louisa)
Andrew: Of course. She was wearing me out.
Andrew hastily disappears and Louisa is stunned and delighted in equal measure. Martin somewhat awkwardly takes Louisa in what resembles a dance pose. She gently repositions his hands so they are more comfortably around her and they end up in a close embrace. Louisa rests her head against Martin’s chest and he nuzzles his face to her hair. They comfortably move together to the music. After a time Louisa raises her head to look at Martin.
Louisa: I’m glad you lost the bet Martin.
Martin: I would have come with you anyway.
He looks at her intently. His eyes do not leave hers.
Martin: You look lovely.
Louisa: Oh. (pleased) Thank you.
Martin: You are lovely.
Martin rest his forehead against Louisa’s and closes his eyes. Their moment is interrupted by a commotion on the other side of the dance floor. They turn to see what’s going on. Louisa notices Andrew is on the floor.
She and Martin rush to his side.
Martin: Move aside please.
Martin crouches beside Andrew.
Martin: Andrew? Andrew can you hear me?
Andrew: Hey Doc. What’s going on?
Martin: I think you just passed out.
Martin: Has this happened before?
Andrew: Oh yeah.
Martin: Can you sit up?
Andrew tries to sit up but can’t
Andrew: Give me a minute.
Martin: I should take you for a check up.
Andrew: No Doc. I’m fine. I don’t want to spoil your evening.
Andrew tries to get up, but gets giddy again.
Louisa: Go Andrew.
Andrew: Sorry Lucy.
Scene: Interior. Same Evening. Portwenn Surgery Consultation Room. Martin is finishing his examination of Andrew, who is sitting on the examination couch, buttoning his shirt.
Andrew: Is it serious Doc?
Martin: Well, I can’t be sure at this stage, but I think you may be anaemic, like Louisa.
Andrew: Is it hereditary?
Martin: It can be an inherited condition, or it could be a coincidence. I won’t know the precise nature of your anaemia until we do a full blood work up.
Andrew: Is it treatable?
Martin: Again, I can’t give you anything conclusive until we get the results, but best case scenario we manage it with dietary adjustments. Worst case scenario, we’re looking at heart failure.
Andrew looks visibly concerned.
Martin: You’ve no need to worry though. Most likely you’ll be back to better than normal with an iron rich diet and perhaps some supplements.
Andrew: Ah...Should I be worried if my father had a heart condition?
Martin: I didn’t realise Terry had a heart condition.
Andrew: He hasn’t.
Andrew: Terry’s not my father.
Martin: What do you mean?
Andrew: My father is not Terry Glasson.
Martin: Yes I heard the words; I just don’t know what they mean.
Andrew: My biological father isn’t Terry, it’s Jim Daley.
Martin: Jim Daley?
Martin: He’s dead isn’t he?
Andrew: I know. Yes. Heart attack.
Martin: How did this happen?
Andrew: He just collapsed.
Martin: No. Not that. How is he your father?
Andrew: Come on Doc. You’re a man of the world – birds and the bees and all that.
Martin: That’s not what I meant. You grew up with Louisa and your – well her – father.
Andrew: Yeah, I did. This is all new to me Martin. I’ve only really just found out. It seems I was named in Jim Daley’s Will, which obviously came as a surprise, so I started asking questions.
Martin: Is that why you're here?
Martin: Does Terry know?
Andrew: He’s always known apparently. Well, since I was about five or six anyway. It’s why he and Mum split up. When Dad found out Mum had been tripping the light fantastic with someone else, well, he made her choose. (With obvious hurt) In the end she just snuck off one night. No goodbyes, no explanation. We woke up and she was gone. (With spite) She chose to leave her husband and her children to go off with a man who would knowingly destroy a family. I don’t think Dad’s ever forgiven her. I don’t think he’s ever stopped loving her either. At first, he wouldn’t let her come back, he was too hurt. Then she stopped trying.
Martin: Did you ever see her after that?
Andrew: We only ever got the odd call or a card for our birthday. It was pretty tough, especially for Louisa, growing up without a mum.
Martin: (with a frown of concern) Yes. (After a pause) Wasn’t old Mr Daley married when he died? He lived here in Portwenn.
Andrew: It didn’t last between Mum and Jim. Once she was available, I guess she lost her charm. He left her with nothing. She says she wanted to come back to us, but was too ashamed – the damage was too great. Funny thing is, I think Dad would have taken her back, even with all the hurt. He never said a word against her to us in all the years that passed.
Martin: And who’s told you all this, seeing as old Jim is dead?
Andrew: I got bits and pieces over the last few weeks from Mum and Dad and put the puzzle together.
Martin: You seem to be taking this all very well.
Andrew: To be honest Martin, I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.
Martin: Does Louisa know?
Andrew: Not yet. I've tried. (Tentatively) I was hoping you might tell her.
Andrew: Come on Martin. It’d be better coming from you.
Martin: It’s not my place to tell her.
Andrew: I don’t want to tell her.
Martin: You have to. She deserves to know.
Andrew: I’m worried about how she’ll take it, how she’ll react.
Martin: She’ll react badly. Deal with it!
Scene: Interior. Next evening. It is dark. Louisa’s kitchen. Louisa is cleaning up when Andrew enters. She spins quickly to look at him, obviously relieved to see him back home. He looks tired.
Louisa: Where have you been all day?
Andrew: Sorry Lucy. I had a few things to sort out.
Louisa: I was worried.
Andrew: You don’t need to worry about me. I’m all grown up now.
Louisa: Yes, but just last night you were all grown up and lying passed out on the floor.
Andrew: Yeah. Neat trick huh?
Louisa: A family favourite. At lunch, Martin said you’re going for a blood test tomorrow?
Andrew: (distracted and distressed) Yeah. Look Louisa, there’s something I need to talk to you about.
Louisa: (worried by his tone) You’re alright aren’t you? Martin didn’t say...
Andrew: Yeah, fine. It’s not that.
Louisa: What then?
Andrew: Come and we’ll sit down.
Louisa: (really worried now) Andrew?
Andrew looks at her with concern.
Scene: Later same evening. Interior. Martin’s kitchen. Martin is packing up for the night, putting things away and getting his glass of water. Louisa storms into the kitchen in a foul temper. It appears she may have been crying.
Louisa: (pointing an accusatory finger at Martin) You knew!
Louisa: You knew and said nothing!
Martin: Knew what?
Louisa: About Andrew.
Louisa: Why didn’t you say anything?
Martin: He’s a patient.
Louisa: Don’t you bloody well hide behind your patient confidentiality crap Martin.
Martin: Fine. But it still wasn’t my place to tell you.
Louisa: And you know what it all means?
Martin: You have different biological fathers.
Louisa: We have different fathers.
Martin: I just said that.
Louisa: Right. So what else did you find out about my life before I did?! Huh?
Martin: (trying to calm her) Louisa...
Louisa: And then deliberately keep from me?
Martin: It was Andrew’s place to tell you, not mine.
Louisa: Did he tell you about how my father kicked my mother out?
Louisa: Oh of course. Yes. And how she never came back, just the odd card or call?!
Louisa: How it was only when we were old enough to track her down that she even bothered with us?
Martin: Louisa, you’re upset.
Louisa: You’re damn right I’m upset Martin. You said you wanted me to say what I was truly thinking right? Well here it is. I hate what my father did to my mother – making her choose, and I hate that my mother just left without a fight. I hate what she did to my father. I hate her for abandoning me and making me grow up without her. I hate that she made me feel unloved and unwanted and sometimes, Martin, I hate you too, because you do the exact same thing! I hate that you didn’t go to the church on our wedding day. I hate that you called me an idiot. I hate that you’re the person who’s said some of the things that have hurt me the most. And I hate that despite all that, I can’t seem to be without you – I keep coming back for more. I hate that I need you and want you so much that sometimes it hurts.
Martin: (with tears in his eyes and pain in his voice) Louisa...
Louisa: (with a sad smile) I hate you Martin.
Martin: I know. I hate you too.
Louisa: (her anger is gone and replaced by sadness) How could she just walk away Martin? I was only a child and she was supposed to be my mother. She just left. She didn’t fight. She didn’t even come back. What kind of a mother would choose an affair over her children? How could she leave me like that?
Martin: I don’t know Louisa. I don’t know how anyone could walk away from you.
Louisa walks to Martin and stands closely before him.
Louisa: (almost pleading) I want to stay here with you.
Martin: (quietly) What?
Louisa: (gently takes the lapels of his coat) Please Martin.
Martin: You’re upset.
Louisa: I want to stay.
Martin: Are you sure?
Louisa: I’m sure. Let me stay.
Martin: Of course.
Louisa: Don’t leave me again Martin.
Martin: I won’t.
They share a tender kiss and a warm embrace. Martin holds Louisa’s head to his chest. After a moment, Louisa pulls away and takes Martin by the hand. She silently leads him out of the kitchen, through the hall and up the stairs that lead to his room.