Session 5

Mary discovers what Joss and his gang of bad men really get up to.

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Drama

Jamaica Inn Part 7 - Shipwreck

Mary has been forced by her Uncle Joss to travel with him and his drunken men on Christmas Eve. She fell asleep but she's about to wake up and discover what Joss and his gang of bad men really get up to at night.

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Language focus: Past perfect

Mary narrating
It's morning…I have just woken up in my bed in Jamaica Inn. Memories of what I saw on Christmas Eve haunt me like a nightmare

My uncle forced me to travel with him and his drunken men on Christmas Eve. I was so tired on the journey that while they were singing drunken songs, I fell asleep.

When I woke up, they had gone. The carriage doors were locked, but I escaped through the window.

They had brought me to the coast. It was a cold, misty night, but from where I was standing on the clifftop, I could see my uncle and his gang below on the shore, silent and still. They were watching the tide coming in, like a beast waiting to pounce.

The mist began to clear and a light appeared on a nearby cliff. At last! The officers the vicar had spoken about were coming! … But my hope disappeared quickly.  … Another light appeared out at sea. This one was moving up and down… I realised then with horror what was happening. The light on the cliff was a trap!

A huge black shape appeared out of the darkness. Like a moth to a candle, the ship was heading for the rocks…

I remember now how I ran to the shore, how I screamed and shouted… but my uncle caught me and tied my hands so I couldn't move. I couldn't do anything except watch the disaster happen.

Mary
The men splashed about in the water grabbing treasures that had fallen from the ship. Bodies were floating on the water. The men fell on them and took everything of value … even rings on the fingers. Hours passed. Light was appearing in the sky. My uncle saw it too.

Joss
Whoah!! … Stop everyone! Look!

Mary narrating
He pointed to the sky.

Harry
Just … going … to get …

Joss
Leave it! … There's no time!… It's getting light … Get out of here!… … before it's too late.

Mary narrating
But no one was listening. They were greedily grabbing what they could.

Mary narrating
My uncle had fired his pistol in the air. The men looked up and saw the sky. Fear struck them and they ran up the beach, carrying what they could… They knew they had stayed too long. Morning was their enemy. … I was too weak to move, but my uncle picked me up and carried me… In the panic, the carriage overturned. That meant there was only one small cart for everyone's escape.

Joss
Stand back!… I say stand back!…Harry, make sure no one moves… Shoot if necessary… I said…

Mary narrating
There was blood everywhere…two men lay still… I fainted.

Patience
Mary, are you awake?

Mary
How long have I been lying here?

Patience
Two days.

Mary
Why didn't you wake me?

Patience
Mary…I…

Mary
I've got to get up …

Patience
Where are you going? Your uncle is downstairs.

Mary
He doesn't frighten me… I must go and find….

Patience
He's never been like this before. He's locked all the doors. He's afraid of someone … I don't know who…

Patience
Don't go down, Mary, he's got a gun…!

Mary narrating
All the doors and windows are bolted. My uncle is sitting in the kitchen…

Joss
I heard noises outside. Did you hear anything?...

He'll come… He warned me but I didn't listen…We didn't plan it this time.

Mary
What do you mean? Who warned you? The officers?

Joss
Them…? They can't touch me. They need proof and all they have is a broken ship and two bodies. I wasn't there, was I  – I was at home with my wife and niece cosy by the fire… No, it's him… He'll murder us all…

Mary
I don't understand. My uncle planned the wrecks, didn't he… or did he? Was there someone else who gave the orders? Who is he so afraid of?

Patience
Why don't we get away quickly now?

Joss
You idiot! There are people everywhere who know what I've done. They'd like to see me hang … we'll stay till night time, when it's dark… We'll leave then!

Mary narrating
I go along with my uncle's plan, but in my mind I'm making other plans – I'll escape somehow and find the vicar…. He's my only hope....

Meet me in the next episode when things get even worse and I make a shocking discovery that will completely change my life at Jamaica Inn.

Download

You can download the Drama from our Intermediate Unit 7 downloads page or from our BBC Learning English Drama podcast page.

Vocabulary

haunt
stay in your mind and make you upset

nightmare
a frightening dream

misty
with a thin fog

gang
a group of people

tide
daily change in the level of the sea which makes the water move higher or lower on the shore

pounce
jump quickly onto something or someone

trap
a trick to catch someone

moth
an insect like a butterfly that flies at night and is attracted to light

panic
sudden fear that stops you thinking clearly

fainted
became unconscious

bolted
locked with a metal bar across a door or window

proof
information that shows that something is true

Jamaica Inn Quiz

3 Questions

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Credits

Mary: Alice K Brown

Joss/Vicar: Will Harrison-Wallace

Patience/Mrs Bassat/Mary's mother: Helen Belbin

Jem/Man in carriage/Matthew: Darren Benedict

Mr Bassat/Man 1: Neil Edgeller

Man 2/Driver: Finn Aberdein

Shipwrecked people: The cast              

Producer and Sound: Rob Carter

Scriptwriter: Sue Allen

ELT Consultant: Catherine Chapman

Music: Vera Harte

Illustrations: Martin Tidy

More

You can find all the episodes of Jamaica Inn and our other BBC Learning English dramas on our Drama page.

In the next episode…

Things get even worse for Mary and she makes a shocking discovery that will completely change her life at Jamaica Inn.

Session Vocabulary

  • haunt
    stay in your mind and make you upset

    nightmare
    a frightening dream

    misty
    with a thin fog

    gang
    a group of people

    tide
    daily change in the level of the sea which makes the water move higher or lower on the shore

    pounce
    jump quickly onto something or someone

    trap
    a trick to catch someone

    moth
    an insect like a butterfly that flies at night and is attracted to light

    panic
    sudden fear that stops you thinking clearly

    fainted
    became unconscious

    bolted
    locked with a metal bar across a door or window

    proof
    information that shows that something is true