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Scene: In the village, a crowd of people see the balloon.
Woman: What does it mean, John?
Man: Well, that means they did it! They got the lot.
Nearby, the shopkeeper sees the balloon on his way home and grins happily. At the vicarage, Mrs. Clipstone sees it.
Mrs. Clipstone: Lionel, look!
Sergeant Samways sees the balloon and tips his helmet.
Scene: That morning at Victor Hazell’s estate, Rabbetts is addressing a crowd of men (beaters).
Men: Morning, morning.
Rabbetts: Take your names. Fred Furty?
Rabbetts: Tommy Stanton?
Scene: Victor Hazell is standing on the steps of his house talking to his butler and waving to his arriving guests. Two well-to-do men speak in the yard and are served punch in silver cups by a maid.
Lord Claybury (played by Michael Hordern): What the devil does Hazell think this is? A wedding?
Charles Tallon (played by John Woodvine): I suppose he thinks it’s traditional.
Claybury: Traditional? Punch at a shoot? Good God, the fellow’s a–(Hazell walks over.) Morning, Hazell.
Hazell: Good morning, Lord Claybury… Charles.
Claybury: Expecting a record bag today?
Hazell: Well, we’ll try not to disappoint you. Could you spare a moment, Charles? (He leads Tallon away.)
The Duke (played by Andrew Maclachlan): (Walking by.) Morning, Claybury.
Claybury: Morning, Duke. What do you think of this? Punch, at a shoot!
Duke: Exactly what you’d expect from a fellow like Hazell. Doesn’t know the first thing.
Duke: Shouldn’t be out here at all this early in the season. Nonsense.
Scene: Inside the house, Hazell and Tallon look over a large blueprint.
Tallon: I’m impressed Victor.
Hazell: How impressed?
Tallon: You’re going to have a lot of local opposition. Old Claybury, for instance. He’ll go mad.
Hazell: He’s mad already. No one’s going to listen to him.
Tallon: Perhaps. What about the village? they’re not going to be very happy about a new town in their backyard. Voice of the people, you know.
Hazell: It’s all in line with government policy. And I bought out every acre I need.
Tallon: (Looking closer at the map.) What about this plot here? (Gestures on the map at William’s property.) Garage, small holding, whatever it is.
Hazell: (Pulls the map away from him.) Got it.
Tallon: How much did it cost you? (Hazell just looks at him.) That’s the key to the whole thing, or didn’t the owner know that?
Hazell: I must have forgotten to tell him.
Tallon: All right, Victor. I think I can persuade the Board. (They shake hands.) I’m in.
Scene: Up on a hillside, all the rich people begin to prepare for the shoot.
Claybury: What’s the, uh, best stand for the first drive, Rabbetts? (He sticks some money in Rabbett’s pocket.)
Rabbetts: That’ll be number four, my Lord.
Claybury: Number four.
In the woods, Rabbetts gives the beaters their final instructions.
Rabbetts: Listen! First drive’s up through the woods to the house. Everybody know it?
Rabbetts: Now keep the line straight and use those sticks. (Checks his watch.) Right then. Let’s get on with it.
The beaters disappear into the woods. Nearby, Danny drops out of the tree where he’s been eavesdropping. He and William go get ready to watch. Meanwhile, another keeper is handing out stand numbers to the shooters.
Keeper: Number seven.
Duke: (Not happy.) Hmmph.
Keeper: Number four.
Claybury: Number four? Good show.
Back in the woods, the villagers gather to watch the action. The beaters are working their way through the woods driving the (non-existent) birds forward.
Rabbetts: Come on! Hup, hup! Keep that line straight!
On the hill, the shooters look around in confusion. The beaters are advancing, making noise and whacking with sticks, but no birds are appearing. The villagers laugh to themselves.
Duke: (Over his shoulder.) What’s going on?
Rabbetts knows something is wrong. He runs around looking desperately for pheasants.
Hazell: What’s going on?
Keeper: I don’t know, sir. (Rabbetts runs out of the woods.) Ah, there he is now, sir. Excuse me. (Goes to meet Rabbetts.)
They confer while Hazell looks around nervously. Finally he goes to join them.
Hazell: What the devil’s happening, eh? Where’ve all the birds gone?
Rabbetts: I can’t understand it.
Claybury and Duke wonder what’s happening. Suddenly a bird appears in the sky. Claybury excitedly takes aim and fires.
Duke: Silly ass.
Duke: It’s a sparrow!
Claybury: Sparrow? (Realizing.) Sparrow. (As Hazell starts back down the hill.) Is that all you have to offer us, Hazell? One sparrow?
The shooters laugh heartily and head back towards the house. Meanwhile, Danny, Doc, and William are driving back to the garage exploding with laughter. Back at the house, Hazell is furious.
Keeper: Nothing in the woods, sir.
Hazell: What do you mean, nothing?
Keeper: Well, nothing.
Hazell: Now you listen to me. I can’t keep them hanging around much longer. So find me some birds, or you can find yourself another job.
The keepers take off driving through the countryside looking for the birds.