Series One - Episode Two: Break In

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C.A.B Episodes

Series One
Mystery at Ma Mossop's

Ep1: Mystery At Ma Mossop's
Ep2: Break In
Ep3: Danger
Ep4: The Sinister Messenger
Ep5: Prisoner of the Earth
Ep6: The Stranger From The Past
Ep7: A Message From The Past
Ep8: A Message From Ma
Ep9: Nine Lives in Peril
Ep10: Friend or Foe
Ep11: Who's Who?
Ep12: The Missing Links
Ep13: A World in Tatters
Series Two
The Wooden Kamel Mystery

Ep1: The Wooden Kamel Mystery
Ep2: Eel Pie and Custard
Ep3: Message From R Leeder
Ep4: Next Stop Timbuktu
Ep5: It's a Snip
Ep6: Saved By The Bull
Ep7: Ear By Gum
Ep8: Finders Keepers
Ep9: Hellman's Trick
Ep10: Hellman's Reward
Series Links:
Series Index
Series Airdates
Series Three
The Mystery Of The Queen's Beast

Ep1: A Face at the Window
Ep2: The Riddle
Ep3: The Bottle of Hastings
Ep4: Robert the Brute
Ep5: The Chamber Pot Plant
Ep6: Getting Taped
Ep7: Trapped
Ep8: The Great Escape
Ep9: Friends or Foes
Ep10: Nicked in Time
Website Links:
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Episode Details

UK Air Date: Tuesday 30th September 1986, 16.20pm
Copyright Year: MCMLXXXVI (1986)
Consecutive Episode Number: 2
Fremantle Archive Ref: 33200
IMDB Link: Episode page

Cast & Crew

Colin Freshwater Felipe Izquierdo
Franny Barnes Louise Mason
Smith Graham Seed
Mr. Hellman Frank Gatliff
Written By Denise Coffey
Theme Music By Adrian Brett
Make Up Pauline Gyertson
Costume Designer Raymond Childe
Graphic Designer Peter Lock
Stage Manager Bobby Webber
Production Assistant Hilary Cornwall
Designer Gillian Miles
Executive Producer Marjorie Sigley
Producer Charles Warren
Directed By John Darnell


Episode Two: Break In

Episode Synopsis

Colin and Franny arrive at Ma Mossop's to discover someone broke in. A copy of Peter Pan has been destroyed. Ma Mossop is still missing and both the strange milkman and Mr Hellman return, asking many questions. The dragon's head still holds the strange box which Ma gave to Colin and Franny to look after, but then a familiar-looking American arrives and begins to take an interest. And what is it that makes Franny scream for Colin as they leave the shop?

Episode Guide

'This is Secret Agent C.A.B. C.A.B is the call sign for Colin Freshwater. I'm Franny Barnes. Colin and I have been looking after Ma Mossop's shop while she's away and feeding her cat called Tatters. I chose C.A.B. cause that's what's written on the window of Ma Mossop's shop. It used to be a Citizens Advice Bureau. Report day one, said goodbye to Ma and had a visit from a Mr Hellman who said he was from the EEC or something. The joking milkman called and kept snooping around. Later we tidied up the shop and hid Ma's secret box. Day two we were on our way to Ma's shop to feed Tatters'.

Colin and Franny open the door and enter Ma's shop, they see the shop is in a mess. Colin records a message onto his dictaphone, 'Report Day two, break in, C.A.B checking for clues'. Franny says about having tidied the day before then Colin thinks of Tatters. Franny presumes he means Tatters had made the mess in the shop but he corrects her saying 'what if the burglars murdered her?', he then questions whether the burglars are still in the back shop ready to murder or torture them to get Ma's secret from them. Franny thinks they should leave and Colin accuses her of being scared, the door suddenly slams and they hear noises coming from the back shop. They go to pull the curtains back as Colin shouts 'come out with your hands up', they then see the cat flap swinging as Tatters has just left. They see a lot of books have been torn up laying on the table, Colin makes a report on his dictaphone, 'C.A.B. damage in evidence in search of hostile...' Franny interrupts him to show him the book that Ma's box was hidden in. Colin questions how the burglar could have got in as the back door lock is not broken. Franny finds a book that is not torn up, it's Peter Pan, Franny comments that she likes that book. Colin tells her to keep watch as he goes to check the dubok. Franny says that she hoped he'd speak using proper words.

Colin walks into the front shop, Franny follows him, he checks the dragon's head and confirms the box is still there, Franny runs through to the back shop to check the money is still there and is relieved when she finds it. Franny then suggests that it couldn't have been a break in as nothing was taken but Colin finds it hard to believe that Tatters could have done all the damage in the shop. Franny tells him that she's fed up with him frightening everyone with thoughts of the break in and of murdering. She tells him that she'll tidy up and then she'll have to go to the shops for her Mum and he's to get the food for Tatters, she tells him not to argue. Franny walks into the front shop, pulls the curtains back, sits down and starts to tidy up some dolls and photo frames.

Colin, still in the back shop, starts to get Tatters' dinner, he stops to record a message on his dictaphone, 'C.A.B. I have two suspects for the break in at Ma Mossop's establishment, Mr Hellman from Brussels but as he has access anyway suppose he wouldn't break in and then there's the funny...' Tatter begins to meow at him so he stops his message and tells Tatters than dinner will be ready soon and he wishes Tatters could tell them what she saw.

Franny finds a box that has been torn apart, she wonders to herself, Colin calls out her name, she calls to him, he continues to shout 'The milkman, don't let him get away'. Franny runs to the front door and opens it, Colin positions himself behind the curtain ready to use his dictaphone to record the milkman's voice but Tatters is still meowing and Colin is having trouble hearing anything else.

Franny walks back into the back shop, bumps into Colin, she's carrying two pints of milk with a piece of paper in her mouth. Franny questions him 'What are you doing hiding behind the curtain?', he tells her that she's let him get away but she informs him that the milkman had already gone when she opened the door, leaving the two pints and the bill for 2.53. Colin remembers that the price is what Ma Mossop said she owed but Franny says that the milkman yesterday said they didn't have to pay. They remember that they told the milkman yesterday they wanted 'one pint only', Franny surmises that he forgot as he was too busy telling stupid jokes. Colin remarks that he could be KGB, Franny tells him 'maybe', she walks through to the front shop, picks up one of the broken boxes and tells Colin he might be right, that there is something funny, something dangerous going on, that all the boxes in the shop have been torn to bits as if someone was trying to find Ma's secret, Colin remarks that it's 'real danger'.

They hear the milkman calling out to them from the street, Colin goes in the back shop and draws the curtains saying he'll record the milkman for evidence as Franny questions him. The milkman enters the shop, greets Franny with a 'hello' and tells her a joke, 'Knock knock', 'who's there?', 'eggs', 'eggs who?', 'eggs-actly what I was going to ask you', he laughs but Franny doesn't, she takes the milk from him. The milkman comments on the mess in the shop but states it is a junk shop, Franny tells him he's too late, the milkman questions why saying 'for Christmas?' but Franny tells him the real milkman has already been leaving two pints and the bill. The milkman scoffs at this questioning if he's not a real milkman is he supposed to be scotch mist. Franny tells him that she doesn't believe he's a real milkman and that she doesn't like his jokes. The milkman is just about to threaten Franny just as Hellman walks in, he greets Franny as tells her he's ready for work and has his camera ready. The milkman doesn't like the sound of photographs, not wanting to break the camera with his ugly mug. He makes his excuses about being behind today, 'as the cow's tails said to the cow', just as he's leaving he says, 'oh don't worry about the milk bill little lady, anytime will do, ok, no problem'. Hellman remarks how jolly the milkman is, that he's a salt of the earth. Franny asks Mr Hellman what he wants to do, he tells Franny not to mind him as he's happy to carry on working on his own. We then hear Hellman's thoughts 'and stay out of here you interfering child, let me do what I have to do'.

Franny goes into the back shop and asks Colin if he's recorded the milkman, he confirms that he has. They peak through the curtains and watch Hellman, saying that he's picking up things, looking for something. Colin wishes he had a camera, guessing that Hellman's in CRO. Franny tells Colin that she's got to do some shopping but she'll be back in ten minutes, she tells Colin to watch him. He records on his dictaphone, 'Agent C.A.B. on surveillance check'. Franny calls out to Tatters to drink up all her milk. She walks through to the front shop and explains to Hellman she's off shopping, he tells her that he'll be alright and after she's left, thinking he's alone in the shop, he exclaims 'at last'. He starts searching in the broken boxes, picks up a small teapot, places it down on the table and looks up at the dragon's head.

Colin walks in, asking if he's looking for something. Hellman replies that he's given him a fright, Colin tells him he's waiting for Franny. Hellman then states that he lost his little silver pencil yesterday and it must be somewhere in the bric-a-brac, he suggests that Colin could find it but he refuses to help. Hellman then goes back to his work saying he needs to first measure the room to discover the area. Colin tells his that he'll watch, Hellman replies, 'how nice for me to have a companion'.

Somewhere outside the milkman watches Franny walk with her shopping bag, he pulls off his fake moustache and removes his hat, he changes his jacket. By the time Franny is seen going into a couple of shops he's completely changed his disguise to that of an American tourist, complete with camera, he starts to take photographs of the shop front.

Back in the shop Hellman is talking to Colin about what General Montgomery told him, or rather a friend of his, in the desert, which was 'Nobby, Nobby he says, always remember you can't win battles with bad commanders'. Hellman notes down the measurement of 2 metres 64. Colin asks if Hellman knows the golden rule of covert activity, Hellman asks him to tell and Colin replies 'remember nothing is what it seems', Hellman repeats him and agrees.

They both go through to the front shop as the American (the man in disguise, who was the milkman) is taking photographs. Hellman asks what he's doing and Colin tells him the shop is shut. The American asks Hellman if he's the manager, he confirms he is, as Colin corrects him Hellman tells his to be quiet. The American says that he's the one to do business with, Hellman then surmises that he is from America. The American asks what that has got anything to do with and Hellman tells him that he once lived in America but can't place his accent. The American asks if he's heard of 'Boxtree, Arizona', Hellman hasn't so the American confirms that is where he is from. Colin starts to speak but Hellman tells him that he will deal with this gentleman, the American tells him to 'scoot'.

Colin walks through to the back shop and pulls the curtains closed. We hear him think to himself, 'They're both lying, I know Mr Hellman's not the manager so why did he say he was, and there's something about that American that reminds me of somebody'. Colin starts recording the conversation on his dictaphone between Hellman and the American.

Hellman asks if the American is looking for anything in particular, The American says not, when Hellman offers to help, the American refuses his help. Hellman then asks what his interest is, whether it's antiques or souvenirs and the American replies 'A lady named Mrs Mossop'. Hellman asks if he knows her, the American replies 'sure do'. Hellman can't understand how he's heard of her from where he comes from, The American tells him that 'why everybody's heard of that great lady, everybody that has an interest in Egyptology, that is'. Hellman repeats 'Egyptology' and the American explains it the science of Egyptian antiquities. Hellman tells him he doesn't need it explaining to him. Hellman says that he must have come to see Mrs Mossop ands leads to ask his name, 'Mr...'. The American tells him his name, R M Portefar, Hellman tells him Mrs Mossop isn't there at the moment and asks if he wants to leave a message for Mrs Mossop. Mr Portefar tells Hellman what a special lady Mrs Mossop is, telling him she was in World War II, calling her a heroine. Hellman remarks that World War II was a long time ago and asks what he needs to talk to Mrs Mossop about, Portefar just tells him that it's between him and Mrs Mossop. Hellman reiterates that he's the manager and he's able to make decisions for Mrs Mossop. 'Well you see, the problem is... ok, well I guess it's no problem really. Mrs Mossop let me know she had a very interesting article for me'. Colin is listening in from the back of the shop, recording on his dictaphone. Hellman asks what sort of article and Portefar tells him it's a map, Hellman replies 'of Egypt, a map of Egypt'. Portefar says he guess it must be, Hellman tells him to look around whilst he checks if there's a message be left for him by Mrs Mossop. Hellman goes through to the back shop and moves Colin out of the way so he can spy on Portefar looking around the shop. He sees him looking at the large cupboard, thinking to himself, 'there got to be something in this cupboard, what kind of locking mechanism is it? There's only one way to get into that, I'll bring an axe. I'd better keep the stars and stripes flying in case the manager's listening, what's he doing here anyway?' He calls out to Hellman, explaining that Mrs Mossop was keeping the map in a hand carved box. Portefar asks him if he's found a message for him, Hellman calls back telling him he's looking through the order book. Colin tells him we haven't got one, Hellman tells him that he knows what he's doing. Portefar takes off his sunglasses to see better thinking to himself that there's so much junk it'll be hard to find anything, he then looks up at the dragons head, thinking to himself 'is that what I think it is?'. Franny walks in and asks him what he's doing, Portefar doesn't answer her question, Hellman and Colin walk through and Hellman tells him to answer her, Colin also asks what he's doing. Portefar tries to shrug it off claiming that they are being inquisitive. Portefar asks if the dragon's head is genuine, that he'd like a closer look. Hellman agrees but Franny and Colin stop him by stating Ma Mossop said it wasn't to be sold to anybody. Hellman says 'is that so?' Portefar says 'it's ok, no problem, I'll just take some photographs for the folks back home', he starts taking pictures but Hellman warns him that it is not allowed to take photographs in the shop. Hellman starts to get angry and Portefar says he can't get the pictures. Franny and Colin have gone into the back shop and Franny questions why Hellman is getting angry, Colin realises that Hellman must know about the dragon's head. Portefar says he'll have to have something else as a souvenir and asks 'have you got any glass beads hidden away anywhere', Hellman asks him 'what did you say?' and Portefar tells him again 'glass beads, nice blue glass beads'. Colin and Franny look up at Ma Mossop's portrait and sees the blue beads in her earrings.

Hellman tells Portefar to hand over his camera film, Portefar refuses as he's got some 'fine shots in here'. Hellman begins to count down, Franny comes through and asks what's wrong. Hellman tells Colin and Franny to call the police, Portefar moves a sign in front of him and slips into his normal speaking voice 'you'll have to catch me first'. Hellman stumbles over the sign as Portefar makes his getaway, Hellman leaves to give chase. Colin wonders what that was all about but Franny reassures him that the box is safe in the dragon's head, she suggest they tidy up the shop.

Portefar is developing his photographs in a red room and the close up picture of the dragon's head shows the box hidden inside, he exclaims 'at last, I've got it'.

Colin thinks 'So Franny and I tidied up but I kept playing back the voices back on my tape recorder', Franny tells him to help tidy up as she's got to get home. Franny notices Hellman has left his briefcase and his camera there. Colin plays back a recording from his dictaphone 'oh don't you worry about the milk bill little lady, ok, no problem', she tells him it's the milk man, Colin plays another recording 'Well you see the problem is, ok, I guess it's no problem really', Franny asks if it's him again, Colin agrees saying he's pretending to be the American. Franny wonders what they should do and Colin suggests they tell Ma Mossop. Franny goes to the telephone to call her at the hospital and asks Colin the number, he tells her it's 9 2 8 3 4, but corrects himself saying it's 9 2 8 2 4 but still thinks it's wrong. Franny asks for the bit of paper it was written on but Colin tells her he tore it up after remembering the number as that's what agents do. Franny tells Colin she's going home and to let her know when he's remembered the number. She walks into the front shop and screams, she calls out for Colin, she hides behind the curtain and tells Colin 'there's somebody outside there, watching us'. The episode ends with a close up of the man who was Portefar and the Milkman looking through a gap through the glass in the door that's mostly obscured by the blind.