Series Two - Episode Seven: Ear By Gum

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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: Wednesday 2nd March 1988, 16.45pm
Copyright Year: MCMLXXXVII (1987)
Consecutive Episode Number: 20
Fremantle Archive Ref: 37197
IMDB Link: Episode page

Cast & Crew

Colin Freshwater Felipe Izquierdo
Franny Barnes Louise Mason
Mr. Hellman Frank Gatliff
Umma Joan Hooley
Nyegel Keith Varnier
Written By John Kershaw
Theme Music By Adrian Brett
Make Up Jann Marshall
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

This episode title 'Ear By Gum' is mentioned earlier in the series in episode 3.

Episode Synopsis

Franny and Colin hide a photograph of Hellman as a young soldier under the table but when they return to the shop to get the photo and Colin's code book, Umma suddenly reappears and begins to say odd things.

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’.

‘Hellman found us with the photo and the map, he tried to get them but the soldier arrived and they started to fight. So we ran in here to hide, the only trouble was Hellman had managed to grab half the map, then Colin hid the photo and the half the map, we were just going to escape when this Policeman arrived, he said he wanted to take the map and photo down to the Police station, I told him I hadn’t got them, anyway he wasn’t a real Policeman, then Hellman and the Soldier came in. Hellman seemed cross to see the Soldier, and the Soldier saw the Policeman and disappeared again, cause he’s not a real Soldier. Hellman couldn’t believe that we hadn’t got the map and photo and while he was asking Colin where they were I ran off. So then he chased me on his bike and the Policeman chased me, all for the map. Anyway it was alright in the end because Hellman and the Policeman collided with each other and we got away. After all that we thought we better had wait before we came back to try and get the library book.

Hellman is locking up and leaving the Wooden Kamel, Colin and Franny are watching the shop from behind some wooden crates. Nyegel is also watching, hiding out of view in a workman’s tent from across the road. When Hellman is out of sight Colin and Franny runs up to the Wooden Kamel but they can not get in. Colin runs round to the back of the shop and Franny waits by the front door. Nyegel leaves the workman’s tent and walks off.

Inside the shop Umma is cleaning the spaceman suit; she calls out to Franny telling her that Hellman is not in. Franny asks to come in saying she does not want to see Hellman. Umma asks where her friend is (meaning Colin) but Franny says she can not hear. Umma goes into the back shop and moves the hands on the clock, we then see the mechanics that move around to open the door, Umma then opens the front door and lets Franny in. Umma asks where Colin is and Franny reasons that he must be playing spies somewhere, Umma jokes ‘Mince Pies and custard’ saying that Colin may have spoiled Mr Hellman’s trousers again. Franny asks how long Hellman will be and Umma replies ‘As long from here to there, Mr Hellman never tells me where he’s going or when he’ll be back. He might be a hour, he might be a day, he might be a very long time away.’ Franny explains to Umma that they left something in the back room, Umma asks what kind of something, Franny tells her it is a book and would she mind if she went to look for it. Umma asks if it was the day when they broke Hellman’s bicycle, Franny insists that they did not break the bicycle and that Hellman fell off. Umma tells Franny that Hellman told her that they were playing games with him and his friend, the Policeman from upstairs. Umma tells Franny that Hellman’s friend sits by his desk all day listening to the radio ‘East, West, home is best, and an Englishman’s home is his castle’. Franny asks if he is there now but Umma tells her that he stood in a bucket of water the other day and got a good soaking, according to Mr Hellman, saying there was water all over the floor. Umma offers Franny a cup of tea but Franny says she does not want one, saying she has got to do some shopping for her mum. Umma reasons that must be what the case is for, first thinking the case was to put the book in, Franny says it is and asks if she minds if she looks for the book as she looks busy and does not want to stop her working. Umma says that she always has a cup of tea at this time and she wanders off into the back room saying she will have to lock the doors again as Hellman does not like them being unlocked too long. Umma alters the hands of the clock and the doors are locked. Franny tells her she will have to go so Umma tells her that she has not looked for her book yet. Franny comes through to the back shop and as Umma is at the sink filling the teapot, rushes over to the cupboard door and picks up Colin’s red notebook from the floor, the door opens ajar and someone’s hand taps her on the shoulder. Franny explains that she thinks she has probably left the book at home somewhere. As Franny pauses, Umma asks if she has seen a ghost but Franny hesitates and says she just shivered. ‘Cold hands, warm heart, you’ll feel better with a cup of tea’, Umma replies. Umma walks into the front shop to get the biscuits.

When Umma is gone Franny opens the cupboard door and asks Colin why he is still there, he tells her that it is a different table and Franny closes the door before Umma comes back with the biscuits. Franny pulls the corner of the tablecloth to the side and exclaims that ‘you have a got a new table’. Umma replies telling her that the old table was full of woodworm all down one leg. Franny asks what happened to it and Umma tells her that she threw it out. Umma asks Franny if she is feeling better. Franny tells her she is and asks again what she did with the table. Umma then asks Franny if she wants to ask Colin if he would like a cup of tea, saying he is hiding in the cupboard. Colin then comes out from the cupboard asking how she knew he was in there. Umma tells them that she saw both of them in the street and they must have waited until she unlocked the door and then sneak in. Colin confirms that is what they did and Umma tells them that was sneaky. Franny then reasons that they did not know whether she would help them or not. Umma tells them they could have asked and Franny apologises, Umma then utters ‘Sneaky boys are made of jelly, their hands are wet and their feet are smelly’.

Nyegel then tries to open the front door, and then walks around, Franny asks if it is Hellman but Umma reasons that he has a key so suspects that it must be Nyegel and he will try the back door. Umma stands up and switches off the lights and they sit there in darkness. Nyegel walks around the shop. Umma, Colin and Franny see his silhouette walk past the window and he tries to open the back door. As Umma switches the light back on Franny asks how she knows it is Nyegel. Umma tells them it is her job to know. Colin asks what her job is and Umma tells them that she is a cleaning lady. Franny then says that cleaning ladies do not need to know everything about everyone. Umma just tells them that this cleaning lady does, Colin continues to question her so Umma offers him a biscuit. Franny asks if Umma comes from Timbuktu, Umma asks who told them and they say that is what Hellman told them. Franny asks if Timbuktu is near Egypt, Umma is puzzled so Franny explains to Umma that Anwar is from Egypt. Umma goes on to say that Anwar hated all that fighting, Franny asks if she means between Hellman and the soldier as she was not even there. Colin reminds her that she was on strike when it happened. Umma explains that Anwar told her what had happened and that Timbuktu is the codename Tripe and his gang gave her. Colin and Franny then realise that the message Tripe gave to Umma was to warn Hellman about her. Umma tells them that she forgot to pass it on, saying that Hellman is bound to be cross when he finds out. Umma asks if they deciphered it and Franny tells them they did easily or that Colin did. Colin then smugly calls himself Secret Agent C.A.B. Colin then asks if Umma is a secret agent too. Umma laughs telling them that she has already told them that she is a cleaning lady. The phone begins to ring. Umma then tells Colin and Franny that it must be Hellman checking up on her, thinking she has left work early. Umma stands up and goes to answer the phone as Colin asks where Anwar is. When Umma has left the room, Franny says that he might have gone back home. Colin says that Anwar wouldn’t have done that whilst Hellman and everyone else were still after the treasure; Franny then tells him that Anwar will be able to guard the tomb from there better than he could here. Franny asks if Colin thinks Umma is a secret agent, Colin says that she does not look like a secret agent so Franny retorts that neither does he. Franny passes Colin his notebook back saying that Umma is nice but Colin tells her ‘nothing is ever what it seems though’. Franny moans about all his golden rules.

Umma is on the phone in the front shop speaking to Hellman telling him that she has not seen the children. She ends the conversation with ‘in a while crocodile’ and puts the phone back in the spaceman’s hand. She calls out to the children telling them that Hellman has instructed her that if she sees them not to let them go and he wants her to wait until he gets back, he’s found out about the message as he is with the soldier. Umma has now walked into the back of the shop. Franny thinks that Hellman and Tripe are enemies but Umma tells them that they are friends now and he is angry that she did not pass the message on to him. Colin asks why the message says that Umma is dangerous. Umma rationally tells them that she is sometimes bumps into things which is not very clever for a cleaning lady. Colin does not believe her so Umma tells him that he should see the bruises she has. Umma tells them that Hellman has told her that if she sees them to tell them that he wants to speak to them both urgently and that they are not to worry as all is forgiven. Franny stands up and tells Umma that she is not staying to find out and asks what did happen to the table. Umma asks why the table is so important and Franny goes to tell her but Colin interrupts saying that he left his library book with the table and that he should have taken it back by now. Umma smiles and says ‘Jim Glue Super Spy, that one? They ought to stick together Jim Glue and James Bond’. Colin alters the hands on the clock to unlock the doors and Umma asks when he found out about the clock, Colin mentions he figured it out days ago and Franny mutters that Colin is not as dim as he looks. Umma then bets that they do not know how to get upstairs yet. Franny tells her that they do not know how to get upstairs and then tells Umma that the table is really important. Umma then bargains with Franny saying that she will tell them where the table is if she tells her where the map and photograph are. Colin shakes his head at Franny, saying that the library will not let him have any more books and Franny chips in to say he is always losing books. Umma tells them she has been very naughty as Hellman told her to get the table burnt at the rubbish dump but as it was too far and she did not want to carry it so she threw it on a skip just outside a house down the road. Then we hear Nyegel’s voice calling out ‘Hello’, Umma reckons that he must have waited for the door to open as she tidies up the cups and saucers. Umma tells them to go if they are going and as they leave Colin asks what house was the skip at, Umma tells them she does not remember, saying it has probably gone by now. Colin and Franny leave and Umma calls out for Nyegel, he walks through to the back shop calling it a surprise. Umma is looking at the tea leaves at the bottom of the cup, Nyegel then tells her that he had not expected her to be at home.

Colin and Franny walk round to the side of the shop and they split up to find the skip with the table in it. They run down several streets but can not find any skip.

Back in the shop Nyegel tells Umma that the children are becoming a nuisance, Umma tells him that they do not bother her but Nyegel tells her that they bother him and everyone else. Umma tells him that there is nothing she can do about it as it is Hellman’s business. Umma shakes the tablecloth outside from the backdoor as Nyegel tells her that Hellman would not have her around learning all his secrets if she was not part of his organisation. Umma tells him that she is only part of Hellman’s game, that he likes to think that other people see a cleaning lady come and go making the place seem respectable and above board as he cares a lot for appearances. Nyegel then says he wishes the map and the photograph would make an appearance, Umma tells him that ‘everything comes to him who waits’, Nyegel says he can not wait much longer as the agency is getting impatient. Umma tells him that she does not know anything about that and goes on to say ‘nobody can’t have what nobodies got’. Nyegel tells her that if the children do not produce the goods soon something will have to be done; Umma then tells him that the children might not have the goods but Nyegel thinks they must still have them as Hellman would not still be around if he had found them and would have gone to Egypt a long time ago and Anwar would still be here, as if the map and photograph had been destroyed Anwar’s mysterious powers would have told him. Umma asks how he knows that Hellman is still here asking if he has seen him. Nyegel is perturbed thinking that Hellman has found them and Umma says ‘well then?’ Nyegel says ‘you mean he isn’t here’ and Umma tells him that she never said that. Nyegel then leaves as Umma smiles to herself.

Colin and Franny are still searching for the elusive skip and meet up but go off in different directions trying to find the skip.

As Nyegel is leaving, Hellman walks in asking him what he wants. Nyegel tells him that is not a pleasant way to speak to a stranger but Hellman tells him that he is just after his treasure. Nyegel tells him that he feels insulted so whilst he is setting up a television aerial Hellman tells him he need not be insulted because he as been speaking to a Policeman friend of his and to Private Tripe who have informed him that he works for Jacko Palermo, the crooked art dealer. Nyegel tells him that he has never heard of Jacko Palermo and that he works for the Eastern Oriental Space Agency who want to find the tomb so they can destroy the secret weapon that Hellman carelessly left behind. Hellman tells him he was not careless and was only carrying out orders, saying he does not care if he believes him as he certainly does not believe him. He switches on the TV saying that Tripe is a good friend of his and he does not tell lies. Nyegel asks if he fights with all his friends but Hellman explains that was just a misunderstanding. Hellman asks who told him about the fight, asking if it was the children. Nyegel tells him his spaceman told him, Hellman is confused and asks him what he is talking about, Nyegel looks at the spaceman’s suit and Hellman stands up and stares too.

Colin is still running around and runs towards a skip in the distance, as he approaches the skip he notices it is empty and he turns round and walks off defeated.

Nyegel then takes out the chewing gum transmitter from the spaceman and explains that with this he can hear everything that has happened in the shop. Hellman then asks, as he must know, what the children are up to. Nyegel then tells him that they can find out what the boy is doing right now as he has given one of them to the boy, telling him he could use it to contact him in an emergency. Hellman asks what his real name is and Nyegel replies telling him that Nyegel is actually his real name. Nyegel asks if he can use his phone, Hellman agrees as long as it is not long distance. Hellman is still annoyed that people still come into his shop and plant bugs and receivers without his knowledge and not asking if he minds. Hellman sits down and watches his TV whilst Nyegel is on the phone calling himself ‘Agent N’ asking for an update on the boy. Nyegel puts the phone back in the spaceman’s hand and tells Hellman they hid the map and photograph in the table, and that Umma threw it out and they are now searching for it. Hellman asks where Umma is, Nyegel tells him not to trust her and Hellman reassures him that he does not trust Umma. Nyegel tells Hellman she is baking and they rush into the back shop to see everything tidied away, the chairs standing on top of the table and no sign of Umma. They look at each other and the episode ends.