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Jamaica Inn: Part 6. Mary goes to the horse market with Jem, but things don't go to plan...

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Drama

Jamaica Inn Part 6 - The horse market

Following Mary's uncle's shocking confession - how he lures ships onto the rocks and drowns women and children - she escapes from the Inn and goes with his brother, Jem, to the horse market in Launceston. But things don't go to plan.

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Language focus: modals of speculation and deduction in the present

Mary narrating
I've hardly slept since my uncle's shocking confession - how he lures ships onto the rocks and drowns women and children. Today, however, I have escaped and am on my way with Jem to the horse market in Launceston.

Jem
It's Christmas Eve, Mary. Why so quiet? What's happened?

Mary
Nothing…

Jem
You look tired.

Mary
My uncle has been drinking… and talking… I know about the wrecks, Jem.

Jem
And you think I must be involved…?

Mary
There are gaps in the story and you fit into them…

Jem
So you think I watch men and women drown and then steal from their dead bodies? … I may have taken some tobacco sometimes from the inn… but I've never killed a man…  

Mary narrating
Can I believe him?

Jem
If you don't believe me, why have you come with me today? 

Mary
I like your bright eyes… 

Mrs Bassat
Look, James! That pony looks just like Beauty, except Beauty was grey… How much is she? 

Jem
She's not for sale. I promised her to a friend. 

Mrs Bassat
How much does your friend want?  

Jem
30 guineas. 

Mrs Bassatt
Well, I'm Mrs Bassat. I'd like to buy her for my children for Christmas. I'll give you 35. 

Jem
OK. She's yours. 

Mrs Bassat
Here... My man James will ride her home… 

Jem and Mary
[laughing…] 

Mary
Jem Merlyn, you should be ashamed! 

Jem
Quick Mary, stand under here… I'll keep you warm… We'll get soaked if we go back tonight. Stay with me in Launceston tonight. 

Mary
No, I've been foolish enough today.  

Jem
Alright… I'll get the horse… Wait here. 

Mary
He is rude, a thief and a liar. He might even be a murderer. And yet, if he wasn't so much like his brother, I could fall in love with him… 

Mary
Where is he? He left over 30 minutes ago… I'll ask that horse seller over there.  

Excuse me, have you seen Jem Merlyn?

Man
The man with the black pony? I saw him with another man. They left in a carriage.

Mary
Oh no!
 

Mary narrating
Did they discover that the pony was stolen? Now I'm sorry I didn't agree to stay in Launceston with him… He went to get the horse to take me home… and now he's gone.  

Mary
What shall I do? Perhaps someone will let me sleep on their floor.   

Vicar
Hello Mary. What are you doing here on Christmas Eve? 

Mary
Oh, Vicar, it's you… 

Vicar
Come, I'll take you home.   

Mary narrating
Once again I tell him my story … the market, Jem's disappearance… His glass eyes show no expression… 

Vicar
You are young… don't cry over him… 

Am I right that it's quiet at Jamaica Inn…?

Mary
My uncle has been drinking. He talks… Vicar, do you know what wreckers are? 

Mary narrating
I tell him what my uncle told me – about using lights to bring ships onto the rocks … the dead women and children… the stolen cargo…  

Vicar
So your uncle talks when he is drunk, does he? … Well there won't be any more wrecks. The government is putting officers on the coast to keep watch.

I'll get off here. The driver will take you home. Goodnight, Mary.

Mary
What's happening…?  

Mary narrating
A gun is pointing at me. I see a face I recognise – the eyes look crazy and mad… it can only be one person 

Joss
Get out! Ahh, so you've come back! What do you think you're doing at this time of night… on the road! Been with a man, I suppose. 

Mary
Don't touch me! You're a murderer and a thief and I've been to Launceston today to inform on you. 

Joss
Get back, you fools! She's lying… Get the horse Harry. The wind has changed… We'll use it…

So, Mary, you think you can inform on me so I'll hang…

You're coming with us! We might not get far but we won't stay here waiting to be caught! Away!

Mary narrating
Where we are going, I don't know. But I can see from the look in my uncle's eyes that something very bad is going to happen. 

Join me next time – and find out exactly how bad things get when I discover what Joss and his gang of bad men really get up to.

 

Download

You can download the Drama from our Intermediate Unit 6 downloads page or from our BBC Learning English Drama podcast page.

Vocabulary

confession
admitting you have done something wrong

lure
to tempt someone to go to a place they may not wish to go

wreck
a ship that is destroyed at sea

tobacco
substance smoked in cigarettes or pipes

guineas
money used in Britain in the past (a guinea was a pound and five pence)

soaked
very wet

foolish
not sensible

carriage
a vehicle used to carry people in the past with four wheels and pulled by horses

wrecker
person who makes a ship crash onto rocks in order to steal the goods it's carrying

cargo
goods

inform
to give information about a person who has done something wrong

Jamaica Inn Quiz

3 Questions

See how much you understood from the story by answering these 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...

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

Session Vocabulary

  • confession
    admitting you have done something wrong

    lure
    to tempt someone to go to a place they may not wish to go

    wreck
    a ship that is destroyed at sea

    tobacco
    substance smoked in cigarettes or pipes

    guineas
    money used in Britain in the past. A guinea was a pound and five pence

    soaked
    very wet

    foolish
    not sensible

    carriage
    a vehicle used to carry people in the past with four wheels and pulled by horses

    wrecker
    person who makes a ship crash onto rocks in order to steal the goods it's carrying

    cargo
    goods

    inform
    to give information about a person who has done something wrong