TROTSKY/ SMOLENSK

 

 

Cut to a camp fire at midnight in a forest clearing. By the light of the fire, Mr. Pither is writing up his diary.

 

Pither: (M.P.) (voice over) September 4th. Well I never. We are now in the Alpes Maritimes region of Southern France. Clodagh seems more intent on reaching Moscow than on rehearsing her new BBC2 series with Buddy Rich and the Younger Generation... (Gulliver enters the scene; his head is still bandaged) Oh hello!

 

Gulliver: (T.J.) We cannot stay here. We must leave immediately. There is a ship in Marseilles.

 

Pither: I did enjoy your song for Europe, Clodagh.

 

Gulliver: I have seen an agent in the town. My life is in danger.

 

Pither: Danger, Clodagh?

 

Gulliver: Stalin has always hated me.

 

Pither: No one hates you, Clodagh.

 

Gulliver: I will not let myself fall into the hands of these scum.

 

Pither: I think you should go and have a little lie down, my dear. There is a busy day tomorrow of concerts and promotional tours.

 

Gulliver: I. One of the founders of the greatest nation on earth. I! Whom Lenin has called his greatest friend.

 

From the darkness we hear French voices.

 

M. Brun: (J.C.) Taisez-vous. Taisez-vous.

 

Pither: Oh dear.

 

Gulliver: I! Who have worked all my life that my people should live.

 

A pair of middle class French people in pyjamas appear.

 

M. Brun: Taisez-vous. Qu'est-ce que le bruit? C'est impossible!

 

Pither: Er... my name is Pither.

 

M. Brun: Oh... you are English?

 

Pither: Er yes, that's right. I'm on a cycling tour of North Cornwall, taking in Bude...

 

Gulliver: I will not be defeated. I will return to my country to fight against this new tyranny!

 

Pither: This is Clodagh Rogers, the Irish-born girl singer.

 

Mme. Brun: (E.I.) Mais oui - c'est Clodagh Rogers - 'Jack-in-a-box'! (sings) I'm just a jack in a box, I know whenever love knocks... (calls) Genevieve! Gerard! C'est Clodagh Rogers la fameuse chanteuse Anglaise.

 

Two teenagers in pyjamas and carrying autograph books appear and rush towards Gulliver.

 

Gulliver: I will never surrender! I will never surrender!...

 

Genevieve: (G.C.) Excusez-moi Madame Clodagh. Ecrivez-vous votre nom dans mon livre des hommes célèbrites, s'il vous plait. Là, au-dessous de Denis Compton. (Gulliver signs and hands the book back.) Maman! Ce n'est pas la belle Clodagh.

 

Mme. Brun: Quoi?

 

Genevieve: C'est Trotsky le révolutionaire.

 

M. Brun: Trotsky!

 

Mme. Brun: Mais Trotsky ne chante pas.

 

M. Brun: Il chante un peu.

 

Mme. Brun: Mais pas professionalement. Qu'il pense de Lenin.

 

M. Brun: Ah! Lenin!! Quel chanteur: 'If I ruled the world'.

 

 A brief film clip of Lenin, apparently singing the next line of the song.

 

Gulliver: Lenin. My friend. I come.

 

He dashes off into the forest possessed.

 

Pither: Oh excuse her, she's not very well recently, pressure of work, laryngitis, you know...

 

He gets on his bike and pedals off hurriedly after Gulliver into the forest.

 

M. Brun: (still reminiscing) Et aussi Monsieur Kerensky avec le 'Little White Bull', eh?

 

Mme. Brun: Formidable.

 

Cut to a few quick shots of Gulliver dashing through the trees and then of Pither making much slower progress due to his bike (and him falling off it!). Cut to a shot of a French couple kissing in car.

 

Gulliver: Lenin! I come! Lenin!

 

Frenchman: Je t'aime.

 

French Girl: (seeing Gulliver) Maurice! Regardez! C'est la chanteuse anglaise Clodagh Rogers.

 

Frenchman: Ah mais oui! (sings) Jacques dans la boîte (he switches on car radio and the song is heard throughout the forest)

 

Cut to Russian street. Pither cycles along with Gulliver, now sporting a Trotsky beard, on the back.

 

Pither: (voice over) After several days I succeeded in tracking down my friend Mr Gulliver on the outskirts of Smolensk.

 

Cut to military man. He has a large map of Europe and Russia and a stick with which he raps at the places.

 

Military Man: (E.I.) Smolensk. 200 miles east of Minsk. 200 north of Kursk. 1500 miles west of Omsk.

 

Cut back to Pither and Gulliver.

 

Pither: Thank you.

 

They've stopped by a signpost that says 'Smolensk town centre 1/2, Tavistock 1612 miles'.

 

Pither: (voice over) Anyway, as we were so far from home, and as Mr Gulliver, still believing himself to be Trotsky, was very tired from haranguing the masses all the way from Monte Carlo,

 

Cut to military man who thumps the map again.

 

Military Man: Monte Carlo. 100 miles south of Turin. 100 east of Pisa. 500 miles west of Bilbao.

 

Cut back to Pither.

 

Pither: Thank you. I decided to check...

 

Pither: (voice over) I decided to check...

 

Pither: No, sorry you go on.

 

Pither: (voice over) I decided to check him into a hotel while I visited the British Embassy to ask for help in returning to Cornwall.

 

They leave the bicycle on the kerb and enter a door with the sign 'YMACA.' over it.

 

Pither: (voice over) And so we registered at the Smolensk Young Men's Anti-Christian Association.

 

Cut to military man.

 

Military Man: YMACA. Corner of Anti-Semitic Street and Pogrom Square.

 

Pither: (by now standing at the reception desk with Gulliver) Go away. (to departing desk clerk) No, not you. A single room for my friend please.

 

Desk Clerk: (T.G.) Yes, sir. Bugged or unbugged?

 

Gulliver: (as Trotsky) I think I'd be happier with a bugged one.

 

Desk Clerk: Right, one bugged with bath.

 

Pither: Well, just have a nice lie down, and I'll go down to the Embassy.

 

He goes. Gulliver signs hotel register.

 

Desk Clerk: (looking at the book) Trotsky! My lack of God, it's Trotsky!

 

A couple of people race in excitedly.

 

Gulliver: Comrades. Socialism is not a...

 

Mix through to the British Consulate. Pither cycles up, parks his bike and goes in. Imperial music. Mix through to interior. A picture of the queen is dimly visible on the back wall. A Chinaman approaches. He is dressed in traditional Mandarin's robe and cap.

 

Pither: Excuse me. Is this the British Consulate?

 

Chinaman: (G.C.) Yes yes... si si...that is correctment. Yes... Piccadilly Circus, mini-skirt and Joe Lyons.

 

Pither: I wish to see the consul, please.

 

Chinaman: Yes, yes, speakee speakee... me Blitish consul.

 

Pither: Oh! (he examines his diary.) You are Rear Admiral Sir Dudley Compton?

 

Chinaman: No. He died. He have heart attack and fell out of window on to exploding bomb, and was killed in a shooting accident. I... I his how you say...succ...sussor.

 

Pither: Oh, successor.

 

Chinaman: I'm his successor, Mr Atkinson.

 

Pither: Oh.

 

Chinaman: Would you like drinkee? Or game bingo?

 

Pither: Well.... A drink would be very nice.

 

The Chinaman claps his hands and another runs in and bows obsequiously.

 

Chinaman: Mr. Livingstone. Go and get sake.

 

Livingstone bows and leaves

 

Chinaman: How is Tonblidge Wells? How I long to see again walls of famous Shakespeare-style theatre in Stlatford-on-Avon.

 

Pither: Oh well, I'm a West Country man myself, Mr. Atkinson.

 

Chinaman: Oh Texas - Arizona - Kit Carson Super Scout.

 

Pither: No. No. West of England... Cornwall.

 

Chinaman: (with difficulty) Coron... worll...

 

Pither: Cornwall.

 

Chinaman: Coronworl...oh yes know Coronworl very well. Went to school there, mother and father live there, ah yes. Go many weekend parties and polo playing cards in blidge club. Belong many clubs in Coronworld.

 

Livingstone reappears, with drink and plate of pastries. He puts them down.

 

Chinaman: Ah, Mr Livingstone thank you, sake and bakewells tart. (hands a glass of sake to Pither) Well, chaps, buttocks up!

 

Pither: Rather. (they drink)

 

Chinaman: Now then er... er...

 

Pither: Ah, Pither.

 

Chinaman: Ah Mr Pither. We Blitish here in Smolensk velly intellested in cliket.

 

Pither: Oh, cricket?

 

Chinaman: No, no...you not speak English velly wells. Not clicket - clicket...clicketty click...clicket...housey housey...er, bingo.

 

Pither: Bingo...

 

Chinaman: Oh bingo...bingo...bingo.

 

Livingstone: (J.C.) Bingo! Bingo!

 

Several Mao-suited Chinese people rush in waving the Red Book and shouting 'bingo'. The Chinaman remonstrates with Livingstone and eventually stops them.

 

Chinaman: Hsai! Solly. Our boys got velly excited. (The Maoists exit)

 

Livingstone: Bingo.

 

Chinaman: (to Livingstone) Shut face! (to Pither) Mr Pither, perhaps you could put in a good word for so we could join a very smart bingo club in Coronworl.

 

Pither: Well, it's not really my line...

 

Chinaman: We all velly quiet at back, not say anything except shout 'Housey! Housey!'

 

Livingstone: Housey! Housey!

 

Maoists: (rushing back in) Housey! Housey!

 

Cut to stock film of large Chinese crowds.

 

Chinese Hordes: Housey! Housey! Housey housey!

 

Cut back to Consulate. The Chinaman is shouting out of window.

 

Chinaman: Hi skwwati niyhi, keo t'sin feh t'sdung, hih watai bingo cards! (comes back into room)

 

Livingstone: Nihi watai bingo cards?

 

Chinaman: Nihi watai!

 

Livingstone: Ah so...

 

Chinaman: Now then, Mr Pither, tell me which better - Hackney Star Bingo or St. Albans Top Rank Suite?

 

Pither: Well, I was hoping that you could help me and my friend to get back to England as...you see we're on a cycling tour of North Cornwall...

 

All: Bingo, bingo, bingo...

 

The Chinaman ushers Pither out. Brief film of rioting Chinese.

 

Chinese Hordes: Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! Bingo!

 

Cut to hotel lobby.

 

Pither: Is Mr Trotsky in his room, please?

 

Desk Clerk: No. He has gone to Moscow.

 

Cut to military man.

 

Military Man: Moscow. 1500 miles south of...

 

Cut back to lobby.

 

Desk Clerk: Shut up!

 

Pither: Moscow!

 

He is surrounded by three secret policemen dressed in identical suits, dark glasses and fedoras.

 

Secret Policeman 1: (E.I.) Come with us, please.

 

Pither: Oh, who are you?

 

Secret Policeman 2: (J.C.) Well we're not secret police anyway.

 

Secret Policeman 3: (G.C.) That's for sure.

 

Secret Policeman 1: If anything we are ordinary Soviet systems with no particular interest in politics.

 

Secret Policeman 2: None at all. Come with us.

 

Pither: Oh, where are you taking me?

 

The secret police all move away to confer.

 

Secret Policeman 3: What do we tell him?

 

Secret Policeman 1: Don't tell him any secrets.

 

Secret Policeman 2: Agreed.

 

Secret Policeman 1: Tell him anything except that we are taking him to Moscow where Trotsky is reunited with the Central Committee.

 

They return to Pither.

 

Secret Policeman 3: We're taking you to a clambake.

 

Pither: Oh a clambake! I've never been to one of those.

 

Secret Policeman 1: Right, let's go.

 

Secret Policeman 2: Who's giving the orders round here?

 

Secret Policeman 1: I am. I'm senior to you.

 

Secret Policeman 2: No, you're not. You're a greengrocer, I'm an insurance salesman.

 

Secret Policeman 1: Greengrocers are senior to insurance salesmen.

 

Secret Policeman 3: Cool it. I'm an ice-cream salesmen and I am senior to both of you.

 

Secret Policeman 2: You're an ice-cream salesman? I thought you were a veterinarian.

 

Secret Policeman 3: I got promoted. Let's go.

 

Secret Policeman 2: Taxi!

 

A girl enters dressed as a New York cabbie.

 

Taxi driver: (C.C.) Yes.

 

Secret Policeman 2: Drive us to Moscow.

 

Taxi driver: I have no a cab.

 

Secret Policeman 3: Why not?

 

Taxi driver: I'm in the Secret Police (they all snap to salute)

  

Cut to stock film of train wheels in the night. The siren sounds. Superimposed names zoom into camera, as in a musical: Petrograd, Ottograd, Lewgrad, Lesliegrad, Etceteragrad, Dukhovskoknabilebskohatsk, Moscva.

  

 

The Cycling Tour continues...

 

 

 

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