Series One - Episode Seven: A Message From The Past

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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
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Episode Details

UK Air Date: Tuesday 4th November 1986, 16.20pm
Copyright Year: MCMLXXXVI (1986)
Consecutive Episode Number: 7
Fremantle Archive Ref: 33205
IMDB Link: Episode page

Cast & Crew

Colin Freshwater Felipe Izquierdo
Franny Barnes Louise Mason
Mr. Hellman Frank Gatliff
Anwar Lyndam Gregory
Smith Graham Seed
Written By Denise Coffey
Theme Music By Adrian Brett
Make Up Unknown?
Costume Designer Unknown?
Graphic Designer Peter Lock
Stage Manager Bobby Webber
Production Assistant Unknown?
Designer Gillian Miles
Executive Producer Marjorie Sigley
Producer Charles Warren
Directed By Leon Thau
*All cast and crew credits are not confirmed 


Episode Synopsis

Anwar helps Colin and Franny to decode the strange messages they have received in hieroglyphics, but they no longer trust him. A strange message is received from the missing Ma Mossop and Anwar confronts Hellman as he is about to discover what is in the locked wardrobe.

Episode Guide

'This is agent C.A.B reporting. And codebreaker Franny the Brill. At last we might be near solving the mystery of Ma Mossop's hieroglyphic message. A man called Anwar arrived in the shop, who seems to know everything. And then Smith, alias the milkman, alias the Professor, alias the American and now alias the council officer turned up to make a nuisance of himself but Anwar soon scared him off and then demanded to know what it all meant'.

Colin plays back a recording of Smith on his dictaphone, Franny explains that's how they know it's the same man, Colin comments that they haven't seen Hellman today. Anwar tells them they've been brave and good children, saying Madame Mossop would be grateful for their care. Franny asks if he can read hieroglyphics, Anwar confirms he can, Colin works out that Anwar will be able to decode the message. They walk through the back shop and Franny pulls out the message from the drawer. They ask Anwar to decipher it, Colin says the had started and recognised one symbol to be the letter 'E' as it's the most used letter in the English language. Anwar tells Colin he's a good scholar but he gives the credit to Franny by saying 'Er, well, that's just what she told me', Franny asks who she is, 'the cat's granny', Anwar is confused by the saying, Franny explains 'that's just the thing to say when little boys are stupid'. Franny asks him to read the message, Anwar asks who sent it, Colin remarks it didn't come through the post. Anwar tells them, 'it is best for you to know a little and say nothing 'til you know more'. Franny asks what it says, Anwar explains they are hieroglyphs he shows them the two owl hieroglyphs, Colin questions what they stand for. He tells them the picture makes the sound of our letter 'M'. Franny adds that to their partially decoded message, with the E letters already in place, she tries to read what they've got so far. Franny thinks one of the words is 'me', but Anwar tells them to leave that symbol to last. He points out another bird, the vulture, Colin tells them vultures can tear a lion to bits with it's claws, Colin makes a noise. Anwar tells him he's close but it's more the sound of 'A'. Franny adds that to her note asking Anwar if it's right, he confirms it is. Colin points out another bird symbol and Franny asks about the ladder symbol. Anwar tells them the young bird gives the 'wh' sound and the ladder leads to knowledge with the strong sound of 'Puh'. Franny fills in those letters and the last word is spelt out, Colin and Franny shout out the word 'map' in excitement. Franny says 'the message is about a map', Anwar simply replies 'yes'.

Hellman is in his hotel room on the telephone, he says 'Well yes, yes of course. Of course that map's hidden somewhere in that dump of a shop and I think I know exactly where. Don't worry Mr Grandison, I'll take care of those snivelling kids, they don't know anything'.

Franny points out a symbol that looks like a cup but she thinks 'C' is not right, Colin suggests using 'K' instead and Franny writes this in, the message now ends 'keep mee map'. Anwar confirms it's correct, he moves onto another symbol, the flowing water, stating that makes the sound of 'N', Franny writes this in, she deduces that the next letter must be a vowel, not A or E, so must be U, I or O. Anwar tells her she reasons well and that there is no sound for the letter 'U', Colin guesses at 'O', Franny writes this in and reads out 'No', Colin says 'bet it is', Franny replies 'No, that's the word'. Franny reads the end of the message 'Wee no something keep mee map'. Anwar points out another symbol revealing it'll give the meaning of the message, stating the symbol on it's own it can make either a 'Eh' or 'Eir' sound, but as there are two together it'll make the 'E' sound as in 'Ba-bee' or 'Yurh' as in 'Yes', Franny adds in the letter 'Y', and reads out 'Wee no yee keep mee map', translating as 'We know you keep my map', Anwar confirms that is correct, the message sent to Mrs Mossop is 'We know you keep my map', Franny says it 'sounds like a threat', Anwar again replies 'yes'.

Hellman is still on the phone in his hotel room, the conversation continues with Hellman saying 'Don't worry Mr Grandison, I've got the equipment to cut out the lock. I'll find out what's hidden in that cupboard'.

As Anwar is by the sink, Colin whispers to Franny to 'show Anwar the paper', Franny tells him to speak up, she excuses them from Anwar and go into the front shop. Colin tells Franny again 'show Anwar the paper', Franny says no as they know most the symbols now so can figure it out later, Colin tells Franny that Anwar is on their side but Franny tells him 'I know he's friendly and he likes us but that's not the same as being on our side. I don't trust anybody who wants to know about that paper'. Franny tells him to shut up. They walk back into the back shop, Anwar has just finished his refreshing drink, he asks 'have you anymore of those hieroglyphs you want me to decipher'. Franny tells him no and then asks if he's hungry, Anwar says he is, Franny suggests Colin takes Anwar down the chippy, when asked Anwar tells them he's never had fish and chips before. Franny gives Colin some money asking for chips. Colin and Anwar walk into the front shop, Colin asks 'what do you want, rock and chips', Anwar is confused 'Rock?', Colin says it's cheapest, Anwar asks if it is like 'Rock 'n roll'. Colin says 'You can have a roll if you like but it's 20p extra'. They both leave.

Franny then pulls the other message from the drawer hoping to find out what it means but she'll have to be quick, she hopes there is a big long queue to get chips giving her more time. She completes some of the letters but it isn't much, she thinks what the first word might be 'something something E'. She thinks it might be 'The' she writes this is which will give her two more symbols. She completes other spaces with the letters 'T' and 'H' and says 'if only I knew what the lion means and that hand'. Anwar speaks 'That's not difficult', Franny is surprised to see him. Anwar tells her the lion makes the sound that begins it's name, 'L', and the hand is the sound that ends it's name, 'D'. Anwar writes these on Franny's piece of paper, he tells her the message reads 'The lady has hidden memories in the table'. Franny thanks him and asks what the last symbol is. He explains 'that is a very strong symbol, it shows that the place is under protection'. He asks why she doesn't trust him, she asks where Colin is. Anwar tells her 'I am your friend'. Franny replies 'We don't know that, there's too many strange people coming in here, how are we supposed to know who to trust, I'm fed up'. Anwar tells her she shouldn't be unhappy as she's clever and solved the puzzle, 'All will be well I promise you' he says. He holds the paper between his hands and says 'this paper is very old, it has travelled far through the years, the owner has know danger and will know danger in days to come. The lady has hidden memories in the table, what memories and what table?'

Smith watches from a rooftop as Colin walks over the road and back to the shop.

Colin is finishing his chips and then eats some of Franny's chips. Anwar is deep in thought and Franny asks him what he was thinking of. He tells her he was thinking of Madame Mossop. The phone rings, Franny answers it. It's the hospital, it's a message from Ma. Franny tells Colin to go into the front shop and look for a bell push to the side of the curtain, a button in the wall. Franny asks if Ma is ok, Colin calls out that he's found the button and Franny tells him to push it twice, he hears a noise. Franny tells Ma that he's done it and begins to ask when she will be back but the phone cuts off, Anwar takes the phone from her but Ma has gone. Colin comes back through to the back shop and explains 'I pushed the button and there was a funny slidey rumbley noise, bet it was a secret door'. Franny rationalises that it was probably the central heating being switched on. Anwar is confused that was what Madame Mossop had asked them to do, Franny confirms that when she heard Colin had done it she rang off. Colin insists it was a secret door and Franny sarcastically says 'He lives in a spy fantasy all the time'. Anwar suggests calling her back but Franny says that they've tried before and they won't allow them to speak to her. Anwar says 'Then we shall discover the place of the map without her permission, yes'.

Hellman is walking towards the shop as Smith watches him with his binoculars from the rooftop.

Tatters comes into the back shop from the cat flap in the backdoor. Anwar thinks she's come back for her milk. Hellman then walks in through the front door with a pint of milk. Franny tells Anwar that is Mr Hellman. Colin adds 'pretending to be a milkman'.

Colin walks through the front shop and they greet each other. Hellman asks 'I hope you didn't think it was your mystery friend the milkman again', 'he's no friend of mine' Colin replies. Hellman passes it off as a 'figure of speech' offering him the milk for the cat's lunch. Colin asks what a figure of speech is. Hellman tells him it's difficult to explain so Colin questions why he used it if he doesn't know what it means. Hellman tells him he does know what it means and explains 'a figure of speech is when you say one thing but really mean something else understand', he explains further that when he said the milkman was his friend he knew that the milkman wasn't his friend. Colin is still confused as Hellman tells him 'it was just a figure of speech' but Colin retorts 'we're back where we started'. Hellman asks Colin where the girl is as she's got more sense, Colin questions which one and Hellman tells him not to play games with him, he means Franny. Hellman asks for a direct answer of where Franny is. Colin tells him to 'find out for yourself', Hellman grabs Colin by the shoulders and Franny walks in. Franny asks Hellman what he's doing and Hellman tells her he was just talking with Colin, the bright spark. Franny notices all the equipment Hellman has brought with him and asks 'are you moving in here Mr Hellman?' Hellman suggests the children leave and have some lunch while he stays, does his work and looks after the cat. The children tell him they've eaten fish and chips. Hellman tells them he can smell the vinegar. Hellman asks them 'well now what could be nicer than ice cream?' Colin quickly responds 'two ice creams'. Hellman asks Franny to take him to the shops for five minutes as he's giving him a headache, Hellman gives them some money, they thank him and they leave.

Hellman locks the door and starts taking things out his bag, he puts on a visor and he can't see very well, Anwar walks quietly into the front shop and startles Hellman. Anwar says 'good morning' but corrects himself to 'good afternoon', Hellman asks him how he got into the shop and threatens to call the police. Anwar asks him 'is is some sort of ritual' pointing to the headgear. Hellman misinterprets this and explains calling the police is what people do in case of a burglary. Hellman asks him what he's doing here and Anwar replies 'Sir I know what I do here but erm what is it you do here?' Hellman tells him to leave as he has no authority to be in the shop and he should count himself lucky he hasn't called for a constable. Anwar tells him that he has to await the return of his friends, Hellman worryingly asks 'you mean there are more of you, there's a gang?' The door rattles as someone is trying to get in, Anwar says 'ah here they are now'. Hellman says not to let them in as he doesn't like violence and he doesn't know anything. Anwar questions 'violence?' Hellman cowers 'Well I'm an old man, I don't know anything about anything'. Franny then calls Mr Hellman from outside, Hellman then realises it is them that Anwar was referring as his friends. Anwar lets them in, Franny asks 'What's going on, what's that door locked for?' Hellman refers to the closed sign on the door ensuring it remained closed and free from intruders. Franny asks what he means by intruders. Anwar explains that the gentleman would prefer that he goes. Franny tells Hellman that Ma had left her in charge of the shop and Colin pipes up 'and me' and they don't want Anwar to go. Anwar tells them not to be distressed at this as he is happy to go and that they will meet again. They say bye to each other and Colin and Franny refer to Anwar as 'friend' and not by his name, Anwar says ' Franny, Colin, I wish you all good things 'til we meet again', the children walk into the back shop and Hellman says to Anwar 'I thought you said you were going', they both agree it was interesting meeting each other and Anwar leaves.

Franny tells Colin in the back shop 'they don't like each other', Colin asks how she knows and she tells him they are only that polite to each other if they don't like one another. Franny and Colin walk into the front shop and Hellman says 'alright you two ice cream guzzlers, the party's over, you're going to tell me who your new friend is'.

Smith is eating a chocolate bar outside and sees Anwar walk towards him, Smith hides behind a parked car and watches. Anwar has seen him watching as he casually checks his watch.

Back at the shop Hellman is still asking 'For the last time I'm asking, who is he?', he asks again 'who is he?' Franny cleverly tells him 'I thought you said the last time was the last time you were going to ask us. Hellman tells her not to be clever and calls them 'mischievous meddling...' and Colin finishes his sentence with 'monster', saying he needed something else beginning with the letter m. Colin and Franny offer other suggestions of 'muppet', 'marmalade' and 'mushroom', 'just a figure of speech' Colin offers. Hellman tells him 'very funny' saying he 'I don't care who your friend from India is', Colin corrects him telling him he's not from India, he is from Egypt. Hellman replies 'Egypt, thank you. Now what would a young man from Egypt be doing poking around in a dump like this, unless...' Colin asks what the stuff is Hellman has brought with him, Hellman explains it is sophisticated drilling equipment made for cutting steel. Franny comments that it looks like the old stuff 'Fred Bunson' was going to throw out of his garage. Colin says he'll feed Tatters, Hellman threatens them 'Come back here, now one more so called clever remark from you two and your precious Tatters will be fur gloves by the end of the week, understood?'. The children stay silent, Hellman continues 'now that's better, I am now going to drill through the lock on this cupboard no matter what it's made of and I'm going to discover once and for all the secret hidden behind this locked door'. He hits the cupboard and the doors open with a creak, inside are several tables, Hellman says 'tables?' Then Franny realises it might relate to the clue and she also says 'Tables'.