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Scene: Victor Hazell talks on the phone in his house that night.
Hazell: Stan? Victor here. So what happened then? Oh, he’d an answer for everything, did he? Oh, forget it, forget it. Stan… (Pours himself a drink.) When did I ever forget a favor? Yeah, yeah, I suppose that could be arranged. Goodbye. (Hangs up phone.) An answer to everything, eh? We’ll see about that. (Drinks.)
Scene: William is walking Danny to school the next morning down a country path.
William: (Gesturing.) Weasel, Danny. You missed it. It went down there. I love weasels. Brave little animal. Did you know that a mother weasel will fight to the death to protect her young even against a fox which is a hundred times bigger than her?
Danny: A hundred times–
William: Shhh! (They hear a squeaking noise and stop.)
William: Do you hear that? (More squeaking.) Come on. (They step off the path.) Shh, shh. Don’t frighten it. Don’t frighten it. (They see a small rabbit caught in a trap.) Barbaric. Did you know, he’ll chew right through his leg? Shh, shh. (William starts trying to get the trap off.)Bite it right off to get out of this. It’s a vile thing. Just what you’d expect from Hazell. Here you go. (The rabbit is freed.) Off you, go on. Go on.(William stands and looks at the Hazell Estates sign. A bell ringing is heard.)
Danny: Dad! (Checks his father’s pocket watch.) Oh no!
William: Come on, Dan. (They rush off to the school.)
Scene: In the classroom, Captain Lancaster is sitting at his desk. Danny takes a deep breath before the door and then goes in.
Capt. Lancaster: Ahh, Smith. Oh, how kind of you to grace us with your presence at last.
Danny: I’m sorry, sir. My dad told me to tell you that–
Capt. Lancaster: Don’t want any of your excuses. You’re late, boy. Late! Come here. (Danny slowly walks to the front.) Now, what did I saw about unpunctuality, hmm? I said it would be punished, didn’t I? One thousand lines by tomorrow morning. Now get to your place.
Scene: Danny dejectedly walks into the garage at home after school.
Danny: Hey Dad.
William: Hi Danny. (Danny sits.) What happened?
Danny: I got a thousand lines.
William: Well, didn’t you explain?
Danny: Didn’t get a chance to.
William: He’s got it in for you, this Captain Lancaster, doesn’t he?
Danny: S’pose I better get on with it. (Leaves.)
Scene: It’s dusk, and Danny sits in the caravan writing out his lines: “I must not be late for Captain Lancaster.” His father enters.
William: How’s it going? (He hangs a set of keys on a hook near the door.)
Danny: Five hundred and forty-seven lines to go.
William: I thought I might go out again tonight. Is that all right?
Danny: Of course.
William: I shall be back by nine. But don’t wait up. Lights out in bed at eight. Promise?
Danny: Promise. You will be back?
William: Of course I will. Unless the keepers catch me. (Sees look on Danny’s face.) Don’t worry, love! They won’t. (Danny smiles.) I’ll be up at Hazell’s Woods. (Touches his nose and winks.)
Scene: Later that night, Danny wakes and sees that his father’s bunk is empty. He checks the clock. It’s after midnight. He remembers that his father said he’d be back by nine. He looks out into the yard.
Danny: Dad? Dad!
Danny looks like he might cry. He gets an idea. He grabs the keys from the hook by the door. We see him in the garage, wearing his coat and carrying a flashlight. He climbs into a tiny red car (an Austin). He starts the car and backs it out of the garage. He puts it into gear and heads for the road.
Instead he puts on the windshield wipers. Eventually he finds the headlight switch, but he nearly runs off the road in the process. Finally he’s on his way. We see a police car coming in the other direction further down the road. Danny shifts into the next gear and is feeling good. The two cars pass each other and Danny has a slight smile. Suddenly he looks in his rear-view mirror and sees that the other car has slammed on its brakes. The policemen inside confer about what they’ve just seen. Danny knows that he must hurry and get to the turn before they catch him. Unfortunately he shifts incorrectly and the motor dies. He tries to quickly stop it from rolling and restart it. Meanwhile, the police car is turning around. Danny gets his car started and continues. He keeps checking his mirror expecting to see the police, who aren’t far behind him. Suddenly Danny sees his turn and whips off the road. He gets behind the bushes and shuts off the motor. The police drive right past. Danny collapses into his seat with relief. He remembers his task, though, and climbs outside the car. With his flashlight on, he starts wandering through the dark woods. Suddenly he sees more lights up ahead. He turns off his flashlight and dives behind a tree. He hears voices. It’s the two keepers.
1st Keeper: Here. Did you see a light?
2nd Keeper: Nah.
They turn to walk away but they stop when they hear a noise (Danny’s foot).
1st Keeper: What was that?
2nd Keeper: Nothing. Come on, let’s get on with it. I wanna get on home. Him with his fancy ideas. Doesn’t pay us fancy wages, does he?
They walk off. Danny gets to his feet and follows them. He only goes a few steps when he sees the men pointing their flashlights at the ground.
1st Keeper: I think we got one!
2nd Keeper: You’re not gonna hide your face? (They shine their lights into a pit, and we can see William at the bottom covering his face.) We got you now, me lad. (Laughs.)
1st Keeper: Let’s have the beggar out.
2nd Keeper: No, we’re gonna fetch Hazell. This was his idea. He can take responsibility. Come on.
1st Keeper: Hey, wait a minute. We can’t leave him here.
2nd Keeper: Look, if he could get out, he would’ve got out. Come on.
The men leave and Danny creeps over to the pit.
Danny: Dad? (He shines his light on William.) Is that you, Dad?
Danny: Are you all right?
William: (Can’t believe what he sees.) Danny. I think I’ve broke my ankle. I don’t know how I can get out.
Danny: There’s a tow rope in the back of the Austin.
William: Here? (Danny smiles.) Good boy.
Danny runs off to get the rope. Meanwhile, the two keepers are walking up to Hazell’s big manor house, where a fancy party is going on.
1st Keeper: (Looking at party in disgust.) It’s all right for some.
Back in the woods, Danny gets the rope and runs to his father. At the party, the two keepers explain what they’ve found to Hazell. He whistles for his gun and a flashlight. Still dressed in his tuxedo, he takes off with the two keepers. Meanwhile Danny’s got the rope tied around the tree and throws the end to his father.
William: Good boy.
William tries to pull himself out, but he collapses near the top.
Danny: Are you all right, Dad?
Hazell and his men are getting closer. William tries again. Danny grabs his arm and pulls. William slides back down again. Hazell’s men are still closer. William gives it one last try.
William: Pull me, Danny!
William manages to make it out of the pit. He hobbles off with Danny just before Hazell gets to the pit. Hazell shines his light down happily.
Hazell: Well, well, well…
His face falls when he realizes that no one’s there. Meanwhile Danny and William have reached the car.
Hazell: You bloody fools!
2nd Keeper: I don’t understand this–
Suddenly they hear a car motor starting. William and Danny are about to pull out.
William: Now you’re in reverse…
Hazell yells at the keepers.
Hazell: Well, get after ‘im!
The keepers take off running towards the car. Unfortunately for Danny, the Austin is in some mud and the wheels are spinning.
William: Give it a bit more acceleration. You’re skidding. (They know the keepers are getting closer and closer.) Now give her some gun… A bit more, bit more… (Trying to stay calm.) Good boy. Gently now with the clutch. That’s right. (They manage to get the car backed out.)That’s it, clutch in. Clutch in!
Danny gets the car into gear and they take off, just before the keepers get to them. Danny and William laugh as they realize they’ve made it.
Back in the woods, Victor Hazell lights a cigar.
2nd Keeper: It was that beggar from the garage, Sir. I just know it was.
Hazell: Course it was.
2nd Keeper: Yeah, well, if he tries that again–
Hazell: He will. Rabbetts, I don’t have to remind you that you are legally entitled to shoot him on sight. (The keepers look shocked.)Yes, I want him. I don’t care how you get him. Just get him! There’s a hundred quid apiece in it for you when you do.
Hazell walks off, leaving the keepers stunned.