Series One - Episode Nine: Nine Lives in Peril

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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 18th November 1986, 16.20pm
Copyright Year: MCMLXXXVI (1986)
Consecutive Episode Number: 9
Fremantle Archive Ref: 33207
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 Anita Perrett
Costume Designer June Cannon
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 Synopsis

Things are really hotting up this week. Tatters has been 'catnapped' and is being held for ransom. Colin is instructed by the mysterious voice to leave the contents of Ma Mossop's secret box in a waste paper bin, but by whom? Hellman arrives in the shop and searches for something hidden - but what? Franny discovers a strangely wrapped package behind Ma Mossop's portrait. Colin wants to know what's in it. The answers to these questions can be found in today's CAB.

Episode Guide

'This is secret agent C.A.B. C.A.B is the call sign for Colin Freshwater. I'm Franny Barnes known as Code Breaker Franny the Brill. This is day five of our mission, Ma Mossop's shop is full of mystery and we are doing our best to solve it. We started our day by sending some fruit to Ma Mossop who is in a military hospital. Ma phoned to say thanks but then she rung off. Anwar, the man from Egypt, came to the shop again, he showed us how to work out the code, we were really starting to solving the mystery but then something terrible happened - Tatters was taken hostage!'

Franny tells Colin that Tatters has been kidnapped, Colin and Franny listen to the kidnappers voice on the phone, he instructs them to go to the adventure playground round the back of the shops and drop whatever was in Ma's secret box into the third dustbin furthest from the football pitch, they are to walk away from the bin without looking back. Smith (Tatter's kidnapper) rings off.

Colin and Franny try to figure out whose voice it was as it sounded familiar to them. Franny thinks back to what both Hellman and Anwar said about Tatters. Colin says they could listen to the to his recording of the phone call (on his dictaphone) but Franny tells him that they do not have time to. Colin realises that it is a 'dubok' like in spy stories - an agreed dropping point for secret messages. Colin insists that Tatters can look after herself but Franny says 'not if someone is trying to kill her she can't'. Franny gives Colin the note with the hieroglyphics on it and the key from Colin and seals it in an envelope. Colin says that Ma told them not to give away the secret but Franny insists that she would not want any harm to come to Tatters. Colin says he'll look and see who picks up the envelope from the bin but Franny warns him not to, otherwise he will kill Tatters. Franny stays at the shop while Colin leaves.

Smith (with Tatters) rips off his fake beard ready for a change of disguise.

Colin at the adventure playground runs across the wooden fort and looks into the distance, the playground is empty apart from an old park-keeper. Colin sees the bin in the distance and runs across the playground and goes to the bin, he drops the envelope in the bin and runs away back to the fort. He leaves a message on his dictaphone saying that the package is left in the arrange dubok.

Back at the shop, Franny looks out the window wishing Colin would hurry up. She picks up the Peter Pan book - on the inside cover there is a written message which reads 'to my little cousin, Happy Christmas 1940'. Franny wonders where Colin has got to again.

Colin is back at the wooden fort across the park. He sees Hellman in the distance and the park keeper who is about to empty the bins. Hellman puts his briefcase down on the wall and Colin thinks he has picked up Ma's secret but the Park-keeper has blocked his view.

Franny calls out the front of the shop for Tatters, she then goes back inside and closes the door. Franny picks up the footstep ladder and thinks what Ma would say 'take the necessary steps dear'. She thinks about 'the lady has hidden memories in the table'. She looks at Ma's portrait and sees the symbol for protection painted on the drawer of the table has been painted on recently. She takes the portrait down and finds a package attached to the back of the portrait, she quickly hides this under a cushion and then Colin rushes in saying that he saw 'him'. Colin tells Franny that Hellman picked up Ma's package and that he was just in time as a park-keeper was about to empty the bins. Franny asks Colin what he looked like but Colin describes Hellman 'as he always does - black coat, suit, carrying a briefcase. Franny says 'not Hellman, the park-keeper' but Colin says just like a park-keeper.

Back at the park, the park-keeper (Smith in another disguise) picks up the envelope left by Colin.

Franny shows Colin what she found behind the portrait saying that even if Hellman has got the code and the key at least he does not have this. Colin reminds Franny that it was his idea to look behind the portrait but Franny tells him that if he had not gone to his dubok he could have found it himself. The phone then rings but Colin says not to answer it but Franny decides to answer it as it may be about Tatters. Smith is on the other end waiting for them to answer it as he has the code written on a jotter pad 'THE LADY HAS HIDDEN MEMORIES IN THE TABLE'. Franny answers the phone and Smith tells her that their furry friend will be on her way home but no tricks otherwise Tatters will use up the rest of her nine lives. Colin asks if it was Hellman's voice but Franny tells him that she does not know but that he said Tatters will be back soon. Franny says that if Hellman does have the code and key there is nothing in the table drawer as both of them have already looked and it is empty. Franny thinks that there are more clues in the package that she found. The front door bell rings and someone enters. Franny and Colin peer through the curtains to see who it is, Franny walks through but can not see anyone. Franny hears knocking coming from the cupboard, she opens it and sees Mr Hellman inside.

Colin, in the back of the shop, looks through the hidden memories which consist of two photographs (one of a soldier and another of a young girl), a typed message that says 'PAINtED WHITE'. Colin picks up the typewriter from the side.

Hellman apologises to Franny for what he said yesterday (about making Tatters into fur gloves). He tells her that he is fond of animals. He says about the cupboard being wide open as it was locked shut with a steel bar but now it is not. Franny thinks to herself that it probably was not Hellman on the phone as he did not worry when she just mentioned Tatters.

Hellman overhears Colin typing on the typewriter so he asks Franny what the noise is, she quickly says that he is playing with a toy he got for his Birthday. She walks through to the back shop and stops Colin typing; Colin shows her that the typewriter can not type an uppercase T, like in the typed message saying that it must have been typed on this typewriter. Hellman listens in.

Smith, on the phone, says that he has the decoded message - saying he will go back to the shop tonight to find out what it means. He tells Tatters to be quiet after putting the phone down.

Franny figures out that these are the lady's memories hidden in the table. Franny finds some more hieroglyphs on the back of a photograph. Colin wonders where Anwar is as he would be able to decode it for them. Franny says that they do not know who took Tatters. Colin insists it was Hellman but Franny thinks it is someone else as Hellman was at the shop soon after the phone call. Franny point out that they do not know Anwar (he is a stranger) and they do know Hellman, or think they know Hellman and that Ma went to a lot of effort hiding the memories. Franny says that they will have to tell a grown up as it will be dangerous as the man who took the envelope will be coming to the shop and that they might be killed like Tatters could be. Franny thinks it might be the man with all the disguises but they can not trust Hellman either.

Hellman then walks in and tells them he can be trusted and he wishes Colin many happy returns, saying that this (the typewriter) must be his birthday present but Colin looks confused. Hellman picks up the paper from the typewriter and reads it 'painted white', Hellman asks him what it is and what it means. Hellman warns them but Franny tells him that she will call Sergeant Brown to check he is who he says he is. Hellman says that there is no need saying he already shown them his pass but Colin points out that it is very new looking. Hellman says that they can talk to the Police as much as they want as the Police will not believe them - they are just children!