Series Two - Episode Three: Message From R Leeder

C.A.B Episodes | Episode Details | Cast & Crew | Images | Secret Agent Notes | Episode Synopsis | Episode Guide

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: Wednesday 3rd February 1988, 16.45pm
Copyright Year: MCMLXXXVII (1987)
Consecutive Episode Number: 16
Fremantle Archive Ref: 37193
IMDB Link: Episode page

Cast & Crew

Colin Freshwater Felipe Izquierdo
Franny Barnes Louise Mason
Mr. Hellman Frank Gatliff
Private Tripe Victor Maddern
Umma Joan Hooley
Policeman David Janes
Written By John Kershaw
Theme Music By Adrian Brett
Make Up Lesley Faulkner
Costume Designer Pam Doolan
Graphic Designer Peter Lock
Stage Manager Dennis Redwood
Production Assistant Kim Robson
Designer Graham Probst
Producer Charles Warren
Directed By Neville Green


More images can be found in the image galleries

Secret Agent Notes

When Umma leaves Tripe in the shop she leaves through the side exit where the Egyptian Mummy usually stands, when Franny comes through to the front shop both her and Colin do not notice the Egyptian Mummy has gone revealing another exit. Later in the episode the Mummy is back just before the spaceman starts to move.

Children's ITV lost the sound for a few minutes during the broadcast of this episode with the presenters blaming Hellman! The broadcast went back to the presenters in the studio to apologise before the episode resumed with sound.

Episode Synopsis

Hellman and Colin's satchel with his library book have disappeared. The soldier Tripe is confronted by Umma, the cleaning lady, who has reappeared mysteriously. Unable to meet Hellman, the soldier leaves a coded message for him with Umma. Colin and Franny secretly watch what's happening. They also find that both front and back doors are automatically remote controlled and so it appears is the empty space suit.

Episode Guide

‘This is secret Agent C.A.B. C.A.B. is the call sign for Colin Freshwater. This is my assistant Franny Barnes, codename Franny the Brill. The secrets of Ma Mossop’s old junk shop have lead us to mysterious adventures at The Wooden Kamel’.

Tripe walks into the back shop and utters ‘Who are you? You horrible little hutched’. Franny tells him the shop is closed and Umma is heard from the front shop repeating that the shop is closed. Tripe scoffs at the women and mutters that they should be done away with. Tripe then gives Colin a riddle to see if he is a man. Tripe’s riddle is ‘If an elephant’s foot covers one square metre what does his tail cover’. Franny states there is no point asking Colin as he is not able to decipher riddles. Tripe then says he will save him the bother of figuring it out, repeats the riddle and says the answer is the elephant’s behind and he laughs at his joke. Colin and Franny stare blankly at him; Tripe then salutes and walks into the front shop. Colin mentions to Franny ‘He’s nuts’ and Franny replies ‘My Granddad told me that one years ago.’.

Tripe, now in the front shop, starts to talk to Umma who is busy dusting the ornaments in the shop, Umma tells him the shop is closed but he retorts that nothing is closed for the M.O.D. Tripe continues ‘Acting Private Tripe, with an E; M.O.D, Ministry of Defence in brackets SD, special duties, permission to speak with double-o three and a half’ and he chuckles to himself. He continues ‘Permission to speak with 437 237 Hellman, Corporal’. Colin and Franny are listening in from behind the curtains to the back shop, Franny utters that Hellman says he was a Sergeant. Umma starts to light the candles on the cat statue and says that it is Sergeant Hellman and he is out at the moment.

Colin and Franny who are still listening wonder why Hellman is afraid of Tripe. Franny says that he is horrible but Colin reasons that ‘he’s only a soldier’. Franny points out that he’s too old to be a soldier. Tripe is still talking to Umma and she replies ‘Compliments is as compliments was’; Tripe says that the finer points of manners were always a mystery to him. Umma replies ‘mysteries come and mysteries go but I go on forever’. Tripe continues to read from his paperwork he has an update ‘Hellman, Sergeant, in brackets AUP, or as they say Acting Unpaid’. Umma says that is better than nothing but Tripe snaps that Unpaid is nothing. Umma asks whose compliments he is reading, and Colin explains ‘who’s the message from’. Umma is busy sweeping the floor when Tripe replies that she can not ask questions like that, as he is not there to answer her questions. He tells her to stand up straight, shoulders back and marches he to the table and tells her to sit down. Franny asks colin why she needs to sit down but Colin explains that it is easier to write sitting down.

Tripe then tells Umma to write down the following message; Colin sits down in the back shop and also writes down the message in his notepad. Tripe recites the message ‘From R Leeder, R for moment (half-a-moment), L for Leather, E for Ever, another E for evermore, D for delightful, E for Ear by Gum, R for King. Umma questions this and Tripe explains ‘Arthur King, Arthur, King Arthur’, Tripe asks he if she had an education. Tripe continues then message with a series of numbers ‘3, 1, 4, 5, 2, 9, 4, 2, 3, 2, 2, 3’, over and out. Umma reads back the message and Tripe confirms she wrote everything correctly. Umma tells him she’ll give the message to Hellman as soon as she sees him and she wanders off to the side room (where the Egyptian mummy usually is), Tripe not noticing this walks out of the shop and down the street.

Franny runs in from the back shop and sees both of them gone; she checks out the front door and sees Tripe halfway down the street. Franny tells Colin Umma has disappeared but Colin refuses and says she must be somewhere, possibly upstairs. Colin says the number (from Tripe’s message) may be a telephone number but Franny says it is too long for a telephone number. Colin says it might be for Eel Pie Island as that is where Hellman says Ma Mossop had gone for political asylum. Colin tells Franny he does not believe Hellman and Franny confirms that she does not believe him about not wanting the treasure, at first he says he does not want it then says there is no treasure anyway. Colin mentions that he does not believe Hellman about the secret weapon either. Franny reminds Colin how scared he was of Umma finding out about the party, Colin says that he would then have to pay Umma more for clearing up. Colin can not understand why Umma is there and Franny adds ‘or how she gets upstairs or who is living up there’.

Colin picks up the phone from the spaceman suit. He tries the number but Franny tells him it won’t work. Franny says they’ll have to figure it out. Colin stares at the cat statue and says it is watching them, he starts to imagine and sees Tatters followed by Umma. Franny tells him it’s made of marble and to stop being daft.

(from here there is no sound on my episode as Children’s ITV lost the sound for a few minutes)

Tripe is marching down some stone steps and walks along a passageway; the Policeman notices him in the distance and follows him but trying to keep out of sight.

Back in the shop Franny is emptying the dustbin putting Hellman’s pirate costume on the floor. Colin checks for something in the back shop.

Tripe is walking then pauses a moment and continues walking and stops out of sight in a side-alley. The Policeman catches up but seems to have lost sight of Tripe, he walks past the alley and Tripe comes out and surprises him and the Policeman runs off as Tripe chases him. The Policeman eventually hides behind a market stall to get away from Tripe.

(the episode cuts to the Children’s ITV studio, the presenters apologise and the episode continues with sound!)

In the back shop Colin is recording a message in his Dictaphone saying he needs to get his bag and library book back. Franny gives him the map and photo and he puts them on the table. Franny tells him not to leave them there and that she is going; she then goes into the front shop. Colin searches the back shop and discovers the wires leading to the clock; he calls Franny who comes back holding the dustbin. Colin asks what Hellman last said before running off. Franny thinks it was about looking after the shop but Colin thinks he needed an excuse to run off with his bag but adds that Hellman said ‘play for time’, they think for a moment and Franny said Hellman mentioned ‘Sixes and Sevens’. Colin thinks and tells Franny to try the door, she does and it is open. Colin moves the hands on the clock and Franny tries again but this time the door is locked, he moves the hands once more and Franny opens the backdoor. Colin rushes into the front shop and also opens the front door. Franny joins him (carrying the dustbin) and says she is going home. Colin asks her not to go as things are getting interesting and they should look after the shop for Hellman. Colin asks about the message from R Leeder but Franny tells him he will need to work it out himself. Franny leaves as Colin tells her to come back tomorrow and he will have decoded the message.

Colin takes the pirate costume from the floor (Franny earlier took it from the dustbin) and puts it on the table in the back shop covering the map and photo. As he walks past the cat statue’s eyes starts to glow. He walks into the front shop and walks around, stares at the Wooden Kamel on the wall and imagines Tripe chasing Hellman, the cat statue and the treasure in the tomb. Colin stares at the cat statue then picks up the phone and tries the number in Tripe’s message but it does not work. He puts the phone back in the spaceman’s hands then sits down reading his notebook.

Hellman is coming out of the laundrette, he sees Franny walking towards him being accosted by Tripe. Tripe then walks off and Hellman hides behind a phone box as Franny walks past.

Colin is reading his notepad in the front hop as the door quietly opens in the back shop and Umma walks in, sees the spilt custard and walks through asking Colin if he has been messing about in her kitchen. Colin says it was an accident and Hellman spilt it. Umma tells him Hellman will need to clean it up. Umma asks if Colin is waiting for Hellman but he is not too sure. Umma then leaves carrying the pirate costume (and the map and photo) out of the shop via the back door. Colin, still thinking Umma is there, asks how she gets upstairs but gets no reply. The eyes of the cat statue start to glow and the arm of the spaceman suit begins to move up and down and the episode ends.