Ben and Polly enter the TARDIS console room, stunned at what they see. They both expected a cramped police box, not a futuristic spaceship. There is an odd sound resonating through the control room as well. Unbeknownst to them, it is the sound of the TARDIS dematerialising. They cannot help but express their amazement out loud, drawing the Doctor's attention from the controls to them. He is far from pleased at this intrusion.
Ben and Polly try to explain that they were only returning the key the Doctor had dropped earlier, but he will not listen. He is very angry indeed, informing them that they have intruded into a time and space vessel. Curious, Ben approaches the control console and the Doctor quickly shoos him away.
Polly seems quick to take to the notion of time travel, asking relevant questions, but Ben thinks it all a joke. His only concern is getting back to his ship on time. The Doctor assures the lad that it will be a very long time before he sees his ship again. The Doctor admits that he has no control over when or where the TARDIS will land.
Determined not to allow these two intruders to sideline his travels, the Doctor directs their attention to the scanner, which shows - as the ship materialises - a view from inside a cave. Ben disbelieves him, betting that it's still Fitzroy Square outside. The Doctor must hold the lad back so he can perform his atmospheric checks. When he is satisfied that it's safe, he opens the doors.
Polly is a bit concerned over the Doctor's caution but is as grateful as Ben to go outside and see for herself. The Doctor laments - half-heartedly perhaps - the loss of his solitude before heading outside to join his new companions.
Ben and Polly quickly learn that the Doctor was right. The police box sits just inside a small cave. They emerge from the cave onto a beach. Both are stunned, trying to make sense of it. Ben is all bluster, thinking perhaps the Doctor has somehow hypnotised them both.
The Doctor locks the TARDIS doors and joins the two, who immediately demand that he take them back. Ben takes his refusal as belligerence and so grabs Polly and marches off, determined to find his own way back to London. The Doctor chuckles to himself. Typical behaviour. These two are quite incapable of looking after themselves. He follows to make sure they don't get into trouble.
Ben and Polly find a path to the top of the cliff which lines the coast. The view is breathtaking. Polly's fear seems to dissipate immediately and Ben too is enjoying this visit to the seaside. But he still worries about reaching his barracks in time. The Doctor catches up to them, agreeing with Polly that they are in Cornwall. This brings Ben back down to earth and he worries about the daylong trip he faces to return to London. They head off further inland. The Doctor wonders how long it will be before the two youngsters realise that they are in a different time.
The group comes upon a stone church that may be new or may have been standing for centuries. Ben refuses to wait around any longer and goes toward the church, hoping for directions to a train station.
In the churchyard, Polly examines a worn gravestone while the Doctor looks closely at the stone wall of the church. Detecting no telltale restoration work, he determines the church to be 16th century or earlier. Ben starts to protest, but their conversation is interrupted when the church doors open.
A man appears, looking quite nervous despite the fact that he holds a flintlock pointed at the strangers. Polly speaks aloud her outrage at this treatment but the man, the Churchwarden, addresses his questions to the Doctor, the only gentleman in the trio. He even mistakes Polly for a boy by dint of her mod hair, cap, and clothes.
The Doctor explains that they are travellers who have gotten lost while walking along the cliffs and are in need of shelter. The Churchwarden seems to accept this, especially once the Doctor assures him they came by road and not by sea. He seems very insistent on this point. The man is still nervous - refusing to allow them long-term shelter - but he does put the gun away and invites them in for a moment.
While the Churchwarden busies himself pouring brandy and water for them, the Doctor informs Ben that they are clearly in the 17th century. He's lost his bet. The travellers take only water and ask directions to the nearest inn. But the Churchwarden seems to have more pressing concerns. He seems to fear someone's imminent arrival by way of the sea.
He mentions "Avery's boys" but is vague as to the details. Avery's name evokes dread in the Churchwarden even though he is supposedly long dead. His "boys" are still out there, though, and he calls them "dark souls". Feeling somewhat calmed by the presence of someone to talk to, the Churchwarden opens up a bit. He identifies himself as Joseph Longfoot, a good Christian man. However, he rejects the Doctor's offer of help even though it is clear that he needs it. One old man and two lads would be no help against Avery's boys, especially the one called Pike.
The Doctor notices Longfoot favouring one hand and goes to examine it. One of the fingers is dislocated and cannot bend. Using an ancient and time-honoured technique, the Doctor snaps the finger back into place with brute force. After the initial pain, Longfoot is glad for the help. The Doctor is now ready to take his leave and head back to the beach, having noted a storm brewing before they came inside. Suddenly Longfoot becomes confused and nervous again, seemingly interested in having the Doctor stay on a bit longer.
He tells them that the tide has now come in and that their destination on the beach will be inaccessible due to the water. The Doctor offers to stay on with Longfoot but he has once again changed his mind. He almost pushes them out into the churchyard.
But just before they go, the Churchwarden calls the Doctor back and talks to him out of earshot of "the lads". His nerves are totally on edge and he seems very frightened indeed. He tells the Doctor that he fears for his life and urgently imparts what he calls "Deadman's secret key". It is "Smallwood, Ringwood, Gurney."
Puzzled, the Doctor makes his goodbyes and takes leave of Longfoot. He joins his "two lads" and they head off toward the nearby village. Longfoot goes inside and closes the doors behind him.
Unseen by the travellers - but perhaps sensed by Longfoot? - their farewells have been observed by a swarthy, bald-headed man from his hiding place near the churchyard. He watches as the strangers go off, noting their direction. He then draws a knife and heads for the church.
The village is a raggle-taggle affair, a loose collection of buildings whose businesses and houses cater to the seafaring trade that is the lifeline here. Central to this is the inn. Its landlord is a weather-beaten man called Jacob Kewper. He is a fixture here, but innkeeping isn't his only business.
He emerges from the back of his inn and calls to his errand boy, a young stable-hand named Tom. Kewper sends him off to the church with a message for Longfoot. Kewper has had word from "friends" down the coast that "a delivery" can be expected. Tom hurries off on horseback, trying to beat the storm which threatens to burst at any moment.
The storm, however, breaks quickly. The Doctor, Ben, and Polly are soaked when they enter the inn. They receive a decidedly sour welcome from Kewper who is ready to send them back out without food or lodging. It is clear that strangers are very unwelcome here, but why. The reception changes, though, when the Doctor reports that they were referred here by Joseph Longfoot. Then Kewper is prepared to give them food and shelter as well as dry clothing for "the lads".
Polly is a bit put out to be continually referred to as a boy, but the Doctor thinks it for the best, given the times. Kewper brings clothing for Ben and Polly and returns to the kitchen to begin preparing a meal.
Ben and Polly sort through the clothes, trying to come to terms with being in the 17th century. But they are still very much interested in leaving here at the earliest opportunity. The Doctor assures them they will, as soon as the tide is out, but he tells them that 1966 will not likely be their landing site.
Ben accepts this for the moment, turning his attention to the wariness of the locals. They seem to be very suspicious of strangers for no clear reason. The Doctor is curious as well, but he doubts that they'll be here long enough to find the answer.
Back at the church, Longfoot has continued to drink his brandy is now rather drunk, singing sea shanties as he returns to the knave from a basement below. He runs straight into the bald man and the singing stops, his face filled with fear. Longfoot knows the man well - Cherub by name - from a wicked past far removed from the church. They go way back, and Longfoot is petrified. He has long feared the day that his past would catch up with him.
The two men were former shipmates onboard the Black Albatross, captained by the fearsome pirate Avery. Longfoot swears that he has renounced the life of a pirate and become a Christian, but Cherub doesn't believe him. He has been sent by Pike, another former shipmate and captain of the Albatross since Avery's death. Cherub's mission is to recover Avery's gold, which Pike is convinced that Longfoot has.
At first, Longfoot denies having it, but under threat announces that he'll never tell where it's hidden. There is a curse upon it that will cost them all their lives. Apparently, Longfoot's Christian conversion was one of convenience and not one of faith.
In response, Cherub brandishes his knife and threatens Longfoot's life. Longfoot warns that he's got friends hereabouts that will avenge any harm done to him and Cherub assumes he's talking about the old man and "the lads" whom he saw earlier. Longfoot is well worried now, wondering how much Cherub overheard and tries to make him believe the Doctor knows nothing. Cherub will not listen and raises his knife to Longfoot's throat to try and force the information from him.
In desperation, Longfoot makes a move for his gun, but he does not make it. Cherub tosses his knife and it sinks into Longfoot's back right between his shoulder blades. Longfoot falls to the floor and Cherub is on him in an instant. He badgers Longfoot to reveal the location of the gold before he dies, but Longfoot is defiant to the end.
Cherub recovers his knife and dumps the body on the floor. He is certain that Longfoot imparted the location of the treasure to the Doctor and he is ready to go to the village and find out what the old man knows.
Some time later, the Doctor, Ben and Polly have finished their meal. Ben and Polly have changed clothes, the rain has stopped, and they are feeling better. The place has filled up with customers as well, a colourful crowd of sea folk. Into this scene bursts young Tom, soaked and out of breath. He shouts to Kewper for help, looking very frightened. Kewper pull him aside to keep from inciting a panic.
The boy has found the Churchwarden's body and the church left wide open. It makes no sense to either of them as Longfoot had no money or enemies that they know of. In fact, very few people ever visit the church. The only ones Kewper knows of is the three strangers. Suddenly the Doctor and his friends become prime suspects in Kewper's mind. He sends Tom off at the double to fetch the Squire. An inquiry will have to be made.
Suddenly there is a commotion at the front entrance as Cherub bursts in along with three friends. All are swarthy sailors. Pirates. Cherub goes directly to the Doctor, ready to "have words". Ben is on his feet instantly, blocking Cherub's way. But that does not lessen his threat.
Cherub explains in his inimitable way that he killed Longfoot but that the deceased "forgot" to pass on an urgent message before he died. He is convinced Longfoot gave that message to the Doctor and he wants it... badly. Both Ben and Polly stand up for the Doctor but they are outnumbered and unarmed. Polly is grabbed and held fast and Ben is knocked unconscious by one of the pirates as he attacks Cherub.
The remaining men grab the Doctor and force him outside and onto a waiting cart. The men cover him with straw piled nearby and then take control of the cart to wheel him away... toward the beach.
Polly, dumped unceremoniously onto the floor of the inn, gets up and watches helplessly as the pirates leave. Concerned about Ben's injuries - he has a bloody gash on his head - Polly goes to him. She appeals to Kewper and the other customers for help but no one appears to have noticed a thing. To Polly's mounting frustration, no one will do anything to help her either, other than to move Ben from the floor to a chair. Kewper tells "the lad" that the Squire will be here soon and that he'll sort it all out. But this is little comfort to Polly, who is certain the pirates mean to kill the Doctor.
Once at the beach, the pirates load the Doctor into a small rowboat and row him out to sea. There in the distance is a large ship anchored and waiting for them.
At last Tom returns with the Squire, a tall, rotund man in powdered wig and fine clothes. He is big and gruff and in command. And he is more than ready to deal with whatever trouble has occurred. The Squire is none too impressed with the strangers he finds in the inn, nor does he mess about when he notices Ben's wound. He pronounces it not serious and sends Tom to fetch clean cloth and water.
Then he turns his attention to Polly. He learns of her "master's" kidnapping but does not seem to care. He is more interested in the origins of Polly and her friends and he insists on receiving an answer, refusing to even consider looking for the Doctor until Polly has given a satisfactory accounting of herself. She is stunned into silence by the inhuman response and tends to Ben as there's nothing else she can do.
Cherub and his mates manhandle the Doctor onboard the ship. Cherub is taking him to see the Captain, and it is a very grave threat indeed implied by the impending meeting. Ben is not badly wounded and starts to come to with Polly's ministrations. She brings him quickly up to speed on recent events, pointing out that the abrasive Squire is still waiting for an answer to his question.
The Squire turns to Ben to find out who these strangers are and gets a capful of attitude instead. That is all the Squire needs. He holds them both to be "knaves and rogues of highly suspicious intent" and arrests them for the murder of the Churchwarden!
The Doctor is herded into the Captain's cabin - a lavish and stately room full of the best of his plunder. The Captain himself is a big man with a black beard and dressed in silk and lace finery. He is angry at the intrusion and the indignance of the Doctor. Cherub relates the story of Longfoot's death and the message given by him to "this old sawbones". Cherub is aggrieved that he won't talk.
The Captain - Samuel Pike, the man whose very name struck terror into Longfoot's heart - assures Cherub that the Doctor will speak. For emphasis, and by way of lethal threat, the Captain reveals his right arm, its hand gone and replaced by a vicious-looking steel pike...
The Doctor continues to insist he has no information, but Pike and Cherub do not believe him. They try to job his memory, but even mention of Avery seems lost on him for some time. His "reluctance" inflames Cherub and he draws his knife to force the Churchwarden's secret from him. Pike holds him back, prolonging the threat. But the Doctor holds his tongue, even when Cherub gives a detailed description of the hideous torture he can inflict with "Thomas Tickler" far short of death.
Ben and Polly have been locked in a jail cell under suspicion of murder. It is small and dank with the only window being a small barred one in the wooden door. Ben continues to moan about the fix they're in and his inability to report back to barracks. However, Polly is finding time travel to be an exciting adventure so far... until she spies a rat in the corner. Then she begins screaming and complaining loudly.
All the noise brings Tom to the door. Kewper's errand boy has been put in charge of the prisoners by the Squire. He knows he's not supposed to speak with them, but he seems to be fascinated by these strangers. Ben and Polly try to explain that they are innocent, trying to place suspicion on the men who kidnapped the Doctor. However, Tom did not see the men and seems to disbelieve that he was even kidnapped. With that naïve pronouncement, Tom departs.
Ben sullenly suggests that Tom believes the Doctor disappeared by magic, and his words give Polly an idea. She knows that the people of this time were very superstitious and she has a plan to use that to her advantage. She asks Ben to gather some straw from the pile in the corner. (She won't do it herself because the rat is there!)
Meanwhile, Jacob Kewper has business outside the inn. He locks the place and heads for the beach and a rowboat waiting there. The Doctor has wisely decided to admit that he has some information, but before he reveals it to Pike, he wants better treatment. He wishes to converse with Pike only - whom he describes quite effusively as a gentleman of an exalted position - decrying Cherub's strong arm tactics. The flattery seems to work and Pike softens somewhat. He allows the Doctor to sit, against Cherub's objections. Cherub begins brandishing his knife again but Pike grabs him with his steel pike and reminds him who's boss. The captain will listen to the Doctor and Cherub will serve wine.
Once he is seated, the Doctor is more relaxed. He audaciously asks for a share of the treasure in exchange for his information. It is a bold request, but one that seems to resonate with Pike... although he might not accept it.
There is a sudden commotion as another crewman bursts in. He is a Caribbean sailor called Jamaica. He reports a small boat approaching, seemingly friendly. Captain Pike is wary and sends Cherub to deal with the visitor. He fears it is a revenue agent - the scourge of pirates - and wishes him dealt with accordingly.
The Doctor is to be taken below for safekeeping - just in case. He will be given food and drink and be taken care of. Somehow the Doctor doesn't find this hospitality reassuring. Polly has completed her work, fashioning the straw into a life-size human figure. She has tied it with a string noose and it now swings from the ceiling. She has briefed Ben on her plan and he calls out to Tom while she sits on the floor and pretends to be in a trance.
Tom arrives and takes in the scene. Ben tells him his cellmate - "Paul" - has been taken over by "the spirit of his master". Tom opens the cell door and enters cautiously as "Paul" begins to moan eerily. The boy is clearly spooked.
Ben lays it on thick. The Doctor is both a warlock and a wizard and the two "lads" are his apprentices. The Doctor has captured the soul of the person responsible for their imprisonment - Tom, of course - and placed it in the straw doll. If Tom does not release them, the wizard will do him in.
The nonsense works and Tom is terrified. He begs for mercy and pleads for deliverance from this horrible fate. Ben tells him the only way out is for him to release them. A bit more theatrics from Polly and Tom gives in, handing over the keys. Ben and Polly escape, handing over the doll. They lock him in and assure him he's done the right thing as they leave the jail.
Once outside, however, they are unsure of their next move. They've no idea where the Doctor was taken or how to start looking. They finally decide to head for the church. It should be a safe house and perhaps they can find some clues to the Churchwarden's murder which will exonerate them.
Cherub trains a gun on the new arrival as he climbs aboard. It is Kewper, here to discuss business with the Captain. Cherub finds this very suspicious, at least until Kewper slips the man a gold coin. Cherub then believes the Captain might be interested after all. He points the way - with his gun barrel - to Pike's cabin.
Captain Pike admits Kewper, who is less than circumspect about his reason for coming. He believes Pike and his men to be "merchants" of the less-than-legal kind and he wishes to help them with their business. Pike and Cherub maintain an innocent front, trying to determine whether they can trust the innkeeper. Kewper continues, assuring the Captain that he is "well supported" in his offer of assistance, including the Squire and the Churchwarden.
Pike finds all this too much to believe and has Cherub restrain Kewper. The innkeeper cannot understand what he's said or done to have the sailors turn on him like this. Pike threatens to prove the man's story by going straight to the Squire. If he's lying, Kewper's corpse will join the Churchwarden's at the bottom of the sea.
Kewper is shocked to learn of the Captain's involvement in the murder. Perhaps he is in over his head here. This becomes apparent when he realises that it is the dreaded Captain Pike before him. He did not know until now and he realises that he has truly picked the wrong pirate to call on unannounced.
Pike decides to go and speak to the local Squire. Either he will find a valuable ally or he will prove Kewper's lie. Kewper's life hangs in the balance. The Doctor is brought up to join Kewper as prisoner. Jamaica is instructed to treat them both kindly unless there is any "funny business". Then he's allowed to use the whip on them to keep them in line.
Ben and Polly have made a thorough search of the church's vestry and found nothing. Now they descend the stairs into the crypt. They're not sure what they're looking for, but they search the dank basement anyway. Perhaps there was a money box or perhaps the murderer even hid down here. It was clear that the Churchwarden was expecting trouble when they met him.
Ben tries to spook Polly by suggesting that the murderer could return to the scene of the crime. What he's really concerned about, though, is the Doctor's whereabouts. Polly suggests they go and check the TARDIS in hopes that the wily Doctor has escaped his captors. They decide to do just that, but before they can leave, they are startled to see a man entering the crypt from the stairs.
Ben and Polly are able to retreat into the shadows before the newcomer sees them, and Ben knocks him unconscious when he reaches the bottom of the steps. Both of them suspect this man is the murderer, actually returning to the scene of the crime, as unlikely as that seems. Polly thinks this will exonerate them of murder and decides to go and fetch the Squire. Without him on their side, they'll never find the Doctor and without the Doctor, they'll never leave the 17th century. Polly hurries off while Ben sets about tying the man up.
Pike has dressed himself in all his finery to visit the Squire. He even removes his steel pike so as to appear less threatening. Of course, Cherub will remain armed to protect them should the need arise. Ben has tied the newcomer to a chair. When he comes to, he is indignant. He identifies himself as Josiah Blake, a revenue officer for the King. Ben, of course, does not believe him. Ben explains the murder of the Churchwarden and that he himself is a suspect.
Trying to get through to the lad, Blake explains that he is here in pursuit of smugglers operating in the area. He has found their inland transport route: a secret passage that runs from the beach to crypt of this very church. Longfoot was suspected in the smuggling route and Blake was hoping to press the Churchwarden for information. Ben doesn't believe a word of this tale, but he is just curious enough to go and investigate the purported tunnel. He goes off, leaving Blake to sputter and protest helplessly.
Pike and Cherub are admitted to the Squire's house and await an audience. They admire the opulence and the expensive possessions, Cherub a bit too much! Pike stops him from nicking a couple of things, intending to present themselves as honest businessmen... for now. Pike's plan is to get a piece of the smuggling business hereabouts, Avery's treasure, and - later - the Squire's possessions. There is clearly no end to his greed and no opportunity he will let lie.
The men are shortly admitted to the Squire's study and business commences almost immediately. All three men know the "business" at hand, although the Squire is a bit confused that Kewper is not with them. Cherub says Kewper stayed behind on the ship of his own volition, accounting their merchandise. Silks, brandy, tobacco. Excited by this information, the Squire proposes a toast that seals the deal. The pirates will go into business with the smugglers.
The Squire offers Pike and Cherub breakfast, but Pike still has a few questions: how and where are the goods to be delivered. The location is the church, but a new contact person must be found as the Churchwarden has been murdered. Pike is pleased to realise that his men are not suspected in the murder.
However, things take a turn for the worse when the study door bursts open and the Squire's servant enters with an agitated Polly. The Squire is angry to learn that Polly is free, but spares a moment to listen to her since she came back on her own. She starts to tell her story but stops dead when she catches sight of Cherub. She recognises him as the leader of the men who kidnapped the Doctor.
The Doctor and Kewper sit talking quietly at the table so that Jamaica will not overhear them. The Doctor learns of the arrest of his friends and is determined to escape and help them. Kewper also wishes to escape, but for a different reason. He fears Pike's presence here can only mean trouble for the whole village. Now that he knows certain Avery's gold is here, Pike will raze the village to the ground if necessary to get his hands on it.
The Doctor is alarmed and decides it is time that both of them escaped. And he has a plan. He raises his voice so Jamaica can hear and inquires whether Kewper plays cards....
Predictably, the Squire does not believe Polly's story about Cherub and the others, nor their possible connection to the murder of the Churchwarden. Cherub and Pike have a jolly time taunting "the lad" for his wicked tongue. But the Squire is concerned over the man that Ben has prisoner in the church. He and the others fear he could be "a mutual friend" - a revenue man.
The three decide to go and investigate, brining Polly with them. But to keep her from escaping they tie her hands, and to keep her silent, they gag her as well.
Ben returns from his investigation of the tunnel and he is a happy man. There is a secret door in the passage that leads right down to the cave where the TARDIS awaits their escape. Blake is concerned by all this talk of escape, even though he doesn't understand the bulk of it. He fears that Ben may be involved with the smugglers after all. But Ben doesn't care. All he needs now is to find Polly and the Doctor and they can make good their escape.
Unfortunately, he gets no further than the bottom of the stairs. There he is confronted by the Squire, Cherub, and Pike. He is horrified to recognise the Doctor's kidnapper in company with the Squire. He also notes Polly is their captive.
The Squire is pleased to have Ben recaptured and he produces a gun and points it at him. Just to make sure he will not escape again...
Ben reacts angrily, trying the same as Polly to paint Cherub and Pike as rogues. But the Squire calls them "honest merchants" and won't listen to Ben. The Squire's attention is drawn to a protesting Blake. The two have met before and the Squire seems suddenly quite nervous at his presence. He hesitates before releasing Blake, much to his consternation.
The Squire pulls Pike aside and explains that Blake is a revenue man and he fears for their newfound business partnership. But Pike cares little. He seems to have a plan, ordering Cherub to cut Blake loose. He whispers to the Squire that they should use Blake to take Ben and Polly off their hands and they can get on with their business. The Squire again accuses "the lads" of killing of Joe Longfoot, but Blake can't see where that's any of his business. However, when the Squire suggests that Ben and Polly might be smugglers as well, Blake relents.
Ben again protests their innocence, but Blake and the others silence him. It is decided - Ben and Polly will go with Blake. The Squire loans Blake his pistol in order to control the "wily knaves", then heads up the stairs with Cherub and Pike. They seem very glad to be rid of the troublesome "lads".
Onboard the Black Albatross, the Doctor's plan of escape has taken on a very odd shape. He is telling Kewper's fortune using cards, playing up the magic secrets contained in them. Jamaica scoffs at all this superstition but can't help watching, especially when the cards seem to reveal Captain Pike and the imminent presence of death for Kewper.
Despite himself, Jamaica is impressed and asks to have his cards read as well. The Doctor agrees, but it has all been a ruse to distract him and bring him near. Kewper springs up from his chair and knocks Jamaica out. He and the Doctor tie the hapless sailor up.
The two plan to escape and head for the village to see the Squire. Together they can convince the Squire that Ben and Polly are innocent of Longfoot's murder and warn him of the danger posed by Captain Pike and his men.
The Squire leads Cherub and Pike into the churchyard. Pike and Cherub are glad to be rid of Ben and Polly and to have fooled the King's revenue man. They credit the Squire for this and go on and on singing his praises. The ruse is transparent, except to the egotistical Squire. He is so flattered that he decides to entrust his new partners with a secret.
Making sure he is not observed, the Squire pulls aside the top of one of the stone sarcophagi in the churchyard. Doing so, he reveals the hiding place for his smuggled goods. Inside are silks, tobacco, and brandy which fill the tomb to the top. He tells Pike and Cherub that this is the beginning of the inland smuggling route for their merchandise, but will tell them no more of their trading methods. The Captain and his men are to leave their cargo on the beach tomorrow night at 2:00 am. They will be met and the goods transferred to the sarcophagus, which will have been emptied before then.
Captain Pike seems satisfied with this, but there is still the matter of payment for their goods. The Squire will not talk about this in the open. Instead, they must return to his house for a meal and some wine. He heads off, the two pirates lagging behind and casting covetous glances at the treasure-laden tomb.
Meanwhile, things seem to be taking a turn for the better for Ben and Polly. Blake has led them to the village, but once they reach the stables, he puts down his gun and tells Ben and Polly that he does not trust the Squire. While he doesn't entirely trust Ben and Polly either - as they are strangers - he tells them that he's heard rumours that the Squire is actually the head of the local smuggling ring. As he unties a grateful Polly, Blake adds that the presence of those two sailors with him bodes ill indeed. He believes that a transfer of goods will soon occur and that he can defeat the entire smuggling ring if he can catch them in the act. But he will need armed men for that.
Ben and Polly wish to help in some way, but their main concern is the Doctor. They know that he would be able to come up with a plan. Just as they despair of ever finding him, he arrives on the scene, triumphant. Ben and Polly are stunned but very pleased. The Doctor refuses to go into detail about his escape, but he does acknowledge the help of Kewper, who will arrive momentarily.
Blake is shocked as he knows of Kewper's involvement in the smuggling ring. He hides in the shadows as the innkeeper arrives at the stable but leaps out when he is in sight. Kewper knows Blake and accuses the Doctor of leading him into a trap. He is furious and races outside, vowing no mercy for the treacherous Doctor when next they meet. Blake pursues him and draws the gun the Squire gave him. He fires but misses and Kewper races into the road, heading for the Squire's house.
Some time later, onboard the Black Albatross, Pike has returned to find both his prisoners gone. Jamaica has - unwisely - stayed on board and now he pleads with his captain for his life. Pike hurls a string of curses and vows of painful death, but he doesn't kill Jamaica just yet. He wants to know where Kewper and the Doctor were heading. Jamaica sees a chance to redeem himself and says he overheard them say they were going to see the Squire. Pike thinks it unlikely that the oafish Squire would call the militia down on them, but he might just be unwise enough to lay a trap.
Pike fears that the 2:00 am beach landing is just that and then decides to outsmart the Squire by landing during the day, sooner than expected. One group of his men will loot the churchyard stash while he and Cherub find Avery's gold. Jamaica gets into the spirit of the plan, thinking that he has managed to save his own life, and suggests sacking the village and the Squire's fine house as well. Pike agrees with this, promising a merry adventure. But not for Jamaica.
While the Captain's back has been turned, he has retrieved and reattached his steel pike. When he turns back around, he quickly and quietly runs his worthless sailor through. Jamaica drops to the floor dead, while Pike calmly wipes the blood from his hook. He lets the handkerchief drop to fall upon the lifeless body. There is no limit to Captain Pike's ruthless evil.
Pike goes up on deck, ready to implement his new plan quickly, but cannot find Cherub. The Captain's anger is inflamed again as he smells a double-cross.
Back in the village, the Doctor tells Blake that he believes Pike will stop at nothing to possess Avery's treasure, double crossing his own "business partner" the Squire, and endangering every person in the village. He is only glad that Kewper has escaped to warn the Squire about it. He expects the attack to come very soon - likely at night for surprise. Blake thinks he has enough time to ride out and gather men and arms to stop this. He knows he cannot let the smugglers and pirates fight it out as many innocent lives will be put in danger.
As Blake fetches his horse from Tom, the stable-boy, and rides off, Ben is ready to leave this place. He explains the secret passageway that leads from the church to the TARDIS. But the Doctor will cannot take the opportunity to leave. He is under a moral obligation to stay and help these people. He feels that - due to the information he was given by the Churchwarden - he is indirectly responsible for the danger facing the village. The three of them must try to delay Pike long enough to allow Blake to return with men and arms. To do that, they must use the clue Longfoot gave them and find the treasure first. With it, they can bargain with Captain Pike.
Polly is quick to side with the Doctor, but Ben protests. Their enthusiasm wins him over and he heads off with them to the church.
Tom watches them go, glad that the "warlock" and his accomplices are gone. But he has been hanging around at a distance since he brought Blake's horse earlier and he's been eavesdropping with a morbid fascination. But this has unintentional consequences for him. Cherub, too, has been observing them but he didn't hear what was said. He leaps from a doorway and drags Tom inside, pressing his knife to the terrified boy's throat. He demands to know where the strangers are going and why.
Kewper has told the Squire the whole story of Pike and Cherub. The Squire cannot believe he did not recognise Pike and that he delivered vital details of their smuggling route into his hands. The are all in grave trouble. However, the wily Kewper has a plan. He knows that Pike's interests lie not in small-scale smuggling but in Avery's gold. Kewper explains Longfoot's connection to Pike and the Squire can hardly believe it. He is also surprised to learn that Avery's gold is very likely underneath the church.
The Squire fears the reputed curse on Avery's gold, but Kewper's unfettered avarice - plus the fear of Pike destroying the village - convinces the Squire that they must act. They must get a jump on the pirates before they arrive - no doubt well ahead of the planned 2:00 am landing - find the gold, and set a trap for Pike. They will end up rich and well-rid of the evil Captain Pike. "A triumph for law and order."
But the problem is they do not know the location of the gold. They do, however, believe that Pike will strike at their own hidden store in the sarcophagus and that is where they shall lay their trap. 20 hidden muskets will be more than a match for Pike and his men. Kewper and the Squire head off to the church on their horses, having much work to do prior to the pirates' arrival.
Back in the churchyard, the Doctor, Ben and Polly do not know where to begin searching for Avery's treasure. The Doctor refuses to repeat the Churchwarden's clue to his companions until he's worked out what it means. So, to amuse themselves, Ben and Polly examine the old tombstones in the churchyard.
Ben comes across one that makes him laugh: "Henry HawkesworthHe did die/from drinking too much small beer/when he was dry". Polly joins in the game until the Doctor stops them both. The names and words make him realise the meaning of "Deadman's secret key" as Longfoot passed it on. The names that followed - Ringwood, Smallbeer, and Gurney - referred to specific graves, including. It was Ben's reading of the words "small beer" that jogged the Doctor's memory, even though that's not the name that Longfoot said. Perhaps he was trying to keep some of his secrets for himself after all! The Doctor quickly realises that the names do not refer to graves here in the open, but down in the crypt. All three hurry off into the church.
Once down in the crypt, Ben wants to show the Doctor the location of the secret passage for their future escape. While they investigate, Polly scans the tombs looking for the names. She first finds Ringwood and excitedly calls the others back. Ben finds Gurney and after a brief search, the Doctor finds Smallbeer.
Up above, however, Kewper and the Squire have arrived. They find the church doors standing open and fear that they have been beaten to the punch. But Pike would have left guards outside and Blake would have horses and equipment. As it is neither of them, it must then be the Doctor down below. Kewper is ecstatic as he is certain the Doctor holds the key to the treasure.
The Doctor's triumph is short-lived. The three names they've found are not enough. They don't indicate at all the location of the treasure. If, however, there was a 4th name...
Suddenly their search is forestalled by the arrival of Kewper and the Squire. Kewper is armed with a pistol and demands to know the location of the treasure. The Doctor of course refuses and Ben piles on the attitude yet again. Kewper points his gun and Ben and Polly to force the Doctor to talk, but the Squire stays him. He may be a corrupt lawman and a smuggler, but he refuses to kill in cold blood. He proposes instead - against Kewper's angry protests - to tie up the strangers while they themselves search. Kewper rejects this "lily-livered" plan and their debate grows heated. Soon they are at each others' throats. The Doctor and his friends dare not move.
However, none of them notice a newcomer on the scene. Cherub. He sneaks silently down the stairs whilst the Squire and Kewper argue vehemently. He puts an end to the argument once and for all, tossing his knife squarely into Kewper's back. Kewper cries out and dies.
Cherub then fires his pistol at the Squire. Polly screams...
The Squire staggers back and collapses against a pillar. He has been hit in the shoulder, but he's still alive. He is bleeding profusely.
Cherub advances, now armed with a wicked-looking cutlass. He retrieves his dagger from Kewper's back and demands to know the location of Avery's gold, threatening the lives of the Doctor and his friends. The Doctor refuses to bargain with this butcher and inquires about Captain Pike, but it becomes clear that Cherub is working independently now. Still the Doctor refuses to give him any information.
Polly wishes to go and help the Squire, who might survive if he is treated quickly. Cherub reluctantly agrees and Polly hurries to fetch some water from a nearby table. However, Cherub's compassion was just a ruse and he grabs Polly as she tries to pass him. He jams his knife to her throat and demands that the Doctor spill his secret.
Elsewhere, Josiah Blake gallops alone to the nearest town to try and raise a militia force to return to stop the smugglers.
The Doctor has no choice but to give in, but he warns Ben that he intends to play for time. The Doctor repeats what the Churchwarden told him - "Deadman's secret key" - but he admits that he is baffled by its whole meaning. Cherub is not. All the names are those of former crewmates on the Albatross during Avery's captaincy, known to both Cherub and Longfoot. Because of this knowledge, Cherub can complete the key. There are not 3 names but 4. "Deadman" is also the name of a crewman.
This now gives the Doctor all the information he needs, but since Cherub doesn't know of the names on the tombs, he is still in the dark. The Doctor plays dumb and Cherub gets angry again. The Squire has regained consciousness and denounces Cherub's greed. Avery's gold is cursed. Captain Avery himself died an alcoholic pauper and death awaits anyone who comes after the gold. The Squire regrets that he himself sought it, but he blames Kewper and refers to his nearby corpse as proof enough of the curse.
Cherub ignores all of this and renews his attention to Polly, his captive. He gives the Doctor 1 minute to tell him where the treasure is.
Down on the beach, Captain Pike and his men have come ashore. It is daylight, far earlier than they were expected. Pike is confident that the element of surprise is theirs. His men do not bear their goods with them, for they mean to take, not to deliver. Pike sends one of his men, called simply Spaniard, to search for Cherub. Pike is certain he's been double-crossed by his trusted mate and plans to deal with him in like manner as soon as he is located. Pike himself leads the rest of the men to the church.
Soon the false tomb in the churchyard is opened and the contraband goods revealed for all to see. Pike puts a pirate called Gaptooth in charge of emptying the tomb and seeing to it that all the goods are taken to the beach. But Gaptooth is clearly afraid that the men will not listen to him. He asks permission to tap one of the brandy kegs to keep the men happy and Pike reluctantly agrees.
But Gaptooth can see that Pike's interest lies elsewhere than the churchyard and he inquires whether there is any more loot in the church itself. Pike rounds him with unexpected fury, telling Gaptooth he is to do his work without further question and to forget anything else. Otherwise, he will be killed. Gaptooth agrees and sets the men to work. But he wonders aloud where Cherub is and watches with great interest as his Captain saunters off into the church.
Some distance away, Josiah Blake leads a column of armed and mounted men toward the village. He has managed to raise a considerable force to battle pirate and smuggler alike, but will he make it in time to save the village.
In the crypt, Cherub tells the Doctor his time is up and he prepares to kill Polly. However, he is stayed by the arrival of a glowering Captain Pike. Cherub weaves a story of how he was getting the Doctor to talk to stop him from double-crossing Pike, but the Captain does not believe this. He accuses Cherub of deserting the ship and making up this story to save his own thieving skin. It is clear that nothing Cherub can say will sway Pike and the once-swaggering sailor seems completely cowed.
However, when Pike turns his attention to the Doctor for a moment, Cherub released Polly and lunges at Pike. It is a terrible mistake. Pike dodges and is unharmed. His anger flares and he promises death to the duplicitous Cherub. Both draw their cutlasses and begin to fight in the confines of the crypt. They seem evenly matched, but if Pike's anger is stronger than Cherub's fear, then the outcome is certain. And Pike has his hook, which thirsts for Cherub's blood.
Polly, Ben and the Doctor retreat to a safe corner where they are helpless to do anything but observe. Polly sees the former allies fighting to the death and knows that Avery's curse is true.
In the churchyard, work is slow. Without Pike around, the pirates are unmotivated and care little for anything but the brandy kegs. Spaniard has returned after a half-hearted attempt at finding Cherub and begins agitating - silently, as he long ago lost his tongue in battle - against Gaptooth for the brandy. In the end, Gaptooth relents and agrees to open one of the kegs, but not for Spaniard or his accomplice Daniel. They are to load up other goods and head to the beach. Spaniard spits defiantly at Gaptooth's feet but finally does load up with goods and heads off with Daniel.
The swordfight continues in the crypt, but it has moved a bit so that Ben can see they've got a clear way down the hallway to the secret passage. He urges the Doctor to leave, but the Doctor feels he must wait until he knows Blake is here with his men and the village will be safe. He tells Ben to take Polly and go to the TARDIS where he knows they will be safe. He assures his worried companions that he can take care of himself.
Ben refuses to go, as does Polly, until a shot rings out and a bullet passes uncomfortably close. Cherub managed to get hold of Kepwer's abandoned pistol but has wasted the shot. The swordfight recommences and Ben agrees to take Polly away from the danger. He vows to come back, though, if the Doctor hasn't joined them in 15 minutes. They hurry into the tunnel while the Doctor tries to find a new way to play for time. Ben and Polly disappear just as the swordfight ends. Cherub is disarmed and pinned against a pillar unable to run. Pike makes sure his double-crossing mate is looking into his eyes when he runs him through with his pike. Cherub cries out and dies. Pike then turns his attention to the Doctor, the fire of evil burning brightly in his eyes.
The Doctor says he will reveal the treasure but Pike becomes concerned about the absence of "the lads", Ben and Polly. He demands to know where they are hiding, but the Doctor is saved from answering by the Squire, who speaks out and denounces the Captain's villainy. Pike is surprised that the Squire is still alive, having taken him for a second corpse, and moves to put him down for good. But the Doctor stops him, promising to reveal the treasure here and now, as he and Pike had previously agreed. Pike remembers the agreement and seems content to keep to it, but the Doctor now wishes to change the terms of their bargain...
On the beach, Spaniard and Daniel carry chests of silks and tobacco toward their rowboats. But they are not keen to trudge back to the church just to carry more heavy loads. The two men decide to wait on the beach instead and begin looking idly around them. They discover a cave in the cliff face and go to investigate. They find the strange blue box but cannot make head nor tail of it. They pull out their knives and attempt to open it.
The Doctor's new terms seem strange to Pike - all of the gold in exchange for Pike's promise to spare the village any harm. And he seems unlikely to agree. The Squire applauds the Doctor, clearly regretting his own villainous ways. He too joins the Doctor in begging for the safety of his villagers. Pike refuses to accept these pleas, saying he has promised his men blood. The Squire hears this and changes tack, accusing Pike of being unable to control his own men. This works and Pike agrees to keen them from harming the village, if only to prove his men will obey him. But first, the gold. And Pike reminds the Doctor of Cherub's fate to ensure no further funny business.
On the road to the village, Blake and his men approach at a gallop.
Traversing the dark tunnel, Polly stumbles and hurts her ankle. It's not bad, but it slows them both down. Polly decides she can make it to the TARDIS on her own and sends Ben back for the Doctor. She is too worried about him to worry about their safety anyway. Ben agrees and hurries off.
Blake and his men have reached the cliff overlooking the beach. They see the boats and the small amount of contraband goods next to them. This is the proof that Blake needs to arrest them all and it appears that he's not too late to stop them. He sends most of his militiamen off to the church, taking a handful with him down to the beach.
In the crypt, the Doctor locates the last and final name - Deadman - on the tombs. These are of course not the actual names of the individuals in the tombs, but false nameplates put up by Joseph Longfoot to indicate the location of the treasure. The tombs' locations form a rectangle. At the intersection of their diagonals, there is a loose flagstone on the floor. Underneath, the Doctor declares, the treasure will be found.
Pike, with a feverish look in his eye, shoves the Doctor aside and attacks the flagstone. He digs in underneath with hand and hook, grunting in desperation. The treasure will soon be his. For a moment, he finds nothing and his blood boils. The Doctor will die for any deception. But, a deeper search reveals a gold bauble and Captain Pike is elated. The treasure is here and it all belongs to him!
Suddenly, a volley of gunshots issue from above, followed by screams. The shots continue and Pike becomes alarmed. He fears a trap and races up the stairs, calling out for Gaptooth. He can hear his men screaming in terror as well as shouting from another source. But he receives no answer from his men. Something is very wrong.
The militia has arrived and the pirates, drunk on brandy, have unwisely attacked them. Several volleys of shots have killed or wounded many of the pirates. Now a fierce hand-to-hand battle is raging. Swords, knives, bayonets, and fists are all flying. The clatter is deafening.
Polly has nearly reached the TARDIS, but not unobserved. Spaniard and Daniel have heard her approaching and have hidden in the shadows until she's in reach. Spaniard grabs her and she screams, but struggle as she might, she cannot escape his grip. Daniel heads off deeper into the cave to investigate where she came from, followed by Spaniard. Daniel, not burdened with a captive, gets further into the cave faster.
Ben has heard Polly's screams and headed back down the passage. He encounters Daniel and manages to attack him unseen. The pirate goes down after a swift blow to the back of the head. Ben continues on, seeing Polly struggling in the arms of Spaniard. Ben launches himself at Spaniard and a scuffle ensues. Ben seems to have the upper hand at first, but the pirate's strength is too much and soon both Ben and Polly are at his mercy. Spaniard recovers his cutlass from the sand and raises it high above his head. Suddenly a shot rings out and Spaniard pitches forward, dead.
Polly is ecstatic to see that Blake is their saviour. But Blake has no time for thanks. He urges his men through the tunnel and on to the church. Ben sees his chance to rescue the Doctor and follows the group, urging Polly to wait at the TARDIS. She should be safe there now.
The battle in the churchyard has now spilled into the church and down the stairs to the crypt. The militiamen are winning with a relentless attack. Captain Pike digs determinedly into the hole, grabbing out all the treasure he can, all the while exhorting his weary men to hold their attackers at bay. They are all expendable as far as he is concerned, as long as he escapes with his life and with the treasure.
The secret door opens and in pour Blake and his men, joining the battle. Chaos breaks loose in the crypt. Ben arrives and tries to get the Doctor to leave, but the Doctor fears for the injured Squire. He is still slumped on the floor and in the midst of the carelessly surging crowd of pirates and militiamen. The Doctor and Ben try to cut through the crowd to reach him.
Pike is now caught up in the battle as well but his safety is not his concern, the Doctor is. He blames the Doctor for this trap and vows to destroy him, his bloodthirsty words rising above the din. Pike's cutlass slashes the air, cutting down everyone before it. He wouldn't care if he cut his own men now. All he wants is to see the Doctor dead. And with his steel pike and sheer adrenaline, he manages to cut through the crowd and face the Doctor.
Pike lunges at him with his hook, but suddenly his motion is halted. His arm has been stayed by the Squire. With seemingly inhuman strength, the Squire has gotten to his feet and used his remaining energy to hold the villainous pirate. The Doctor has given the Squire back his faith in humanity and he in turn has saved the Doctor's life. However Pike's strength is too much and he begins to break free. He promises to slay them all. Suddenly a shot rings out and Pike ceases his struggle. He falls dead, killed by Blake.
There is still a bit of a struggle going on but it looks as if the pirates are well and truly routed. The Doctor and Ben silently make their way to the secret passage and escape toward the TARDIS.
Blake checks on the Squire, making certain he will be all right. The two men congratulate each other on their success. It appears that the Squire is back on the straight and narrow again. Blake looks around for the Doctor - to thank him for his help - but does not seem all that surprised when he is not there. Blake wishes the Doctor godspeed, wherever he's gone. Ben and the Doctor meet up with a relieved Polly outside the TARDIS. They are all a bit battered and tired, but otherwise fine. They head into the ship.
The Doctor works at the controls while Ben explains to Polly how Blake's militia defeated the pirates. It appears to be more proof of Avery's curse to her. The Doctor calls it superstition, but cannot help but note that superstitions sometimes come true.
The TARDIS dematerialises from the beach and Ben and Polly wonder where they will go next. Ben hopes for 1966, still wishing to return to his ship, but he reckons that anywhere is better than 17th century Cornwall. Suddenly Polly begins to feel very cold and the Doctor directs their attention to the scanner.
They have rematerialised already. At the coldest place in the world...
|Source: Jeff Murray