The Missing Scroll


Series 5, episode19

Recorded: ; First broadcast: 1 Feb 1955

Cast: Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers

Script by: Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes

Producer: Peter Eton

Announcer: Wallace Greenslade

Orchestra conducted by: Wally Stott

Original transcript - Tony Wills, corrections by Peter Olausson.

Paul Webster: small change - "City Rosaic" to "Sidi Rosaic"



Greenslade: This is the BBC.

Greenslade: This is the BBC Home Service.

Seagoon: Jolly good! Bravo!

Omnes: Hear, hear (etc.)

Greenslade: Thank you gentleman, for praising my announcing. But I was merely doing my duty in upholding the finer traditions of my alma mater, the Home Service.

Seagoon (under): Yes, well done. Jolly good.

Sellers (under): Yes, yes.

Omnes: Hear, hear, well done.

Greenslade: And... And furthermore gentlemen, may I say how splendid I think the Home Service is, thanks to the "enopradeig" of the Corporation, Mister John Snagge.

Omnes: Hear, hear, well said.

Greenslade: Yes. Yes, it was he, who in my darkest hour, handed unto me a copy of the Radio Times...

Seagoon: What bliss.

Greenslade: ...on who's friendly pages, couched in beautiful Victorian English, I found a wealth of jolly good programmes.

Omnes: [Approving yea's etc., clinking of glasses]

Seagoon: Hazar, hazar. Well done

Greenslade: Yes indeed. The Home Service provides us with the best programmes!

Milligan: Always. Yes.

Greenslade: Therefore, it is with heavy heart I announce one of the worst.

Seagoon: He was going to refer to the highly esteemed Goon Show.

Omnes: [Mixture of boos, and cheers]

Seagoon: Thank you Archie Andrews fans.

Seagoon: Mister Greenslade, stop reading that Radio Times, pull up your bloomers, and tell England.

Greenslade: Alright. England, I'm pulling up my bloomers.

Omnes: [Cheers, hooray etc.]

Greenslade: Stop! Thank you, Greensladers. Put away those cameras. Because, now the Goons are about to embark on a strange story entontled...

Milligan: The Lost Music Of Purdom.

Orchestra: [Fanfare, harp piece, then mystery-mood music]

Seagoon: My name is Seagoon. Neddie Seagoon. You've possibly seen my name in the mirror. It reads Noogeas Eidden Noogeas. In the year nintoon hundred and scranson screen I was employed at the Norwich Castle Museum as a translator of ancient manuscript. My keeper was a certain Mister Roger Fudgeknuckle.

Sellers Fudgeknuckle (elderly Scotsman): Eeeh, marr Neddie. That's all for today. What's the time?

Seagoon: [Big yawn] Three minutes to midnight.

Sellers (Scottish): Oooh well. Might as well have an early night, then, eh Neddie? [cackling-laugh]

Seagoon: Ah, shut up, you mean old bounder. [laughs] [to audience] Deaf as a coot!

Sellers (Scottish): Goodnight Neddie.

Seagoon: Goodnight, you bald old bath bung.

Sellers (Scottish): Goodnight. Oh, Neddie.

Seagoon: Yes?

Sellers (Scottish): I just thought to tell ye. One day you're going to be a bald old bath bung too.

Seagoon: Eh, what what what what what what what?

Sellers (Scottish): Thought I was deaf he did thought I was deaf... [goes away muttering]

FX: [Phone rings, picked up]

Seagoon (answers phone): Hello.

Milligan (on phone): Hello. Is that the Norwich Castle Museum?

Seagoon: Yes.

Moriarty: (on phone) I must ask you to speak louder.

Seagoon: Why?

Moriarty: I haven't got a phone.

Seagoon: Can't you find a phone box?

Moriarty: I don't think they've got one around here.

Seagoon: Why? Where are you?

Moriarty: On top of a bus.

Seagoon: What are you doing up there?

Moriarty: I wanted to smoke.

Seagoon (fast): Well, what do you want?

Moriarty: A match please.

Seagoon: Just a moment. Here!

FX: [Strikes match three times, match flares]

Moriarty: [Breathes deeply] Aagh. Merchi, mon ami. I'm... I'm speaking on behalf of the famous London antique dealer, the honourable Grytpype- Thynne. He's looking for a bright assistant.

Seagoon: The honourable Hercules Grytpype-Thynne? Why, he was the famous London antique dealer who was looking for a bright assistant. Mmnn [clears throat] What wage is he offering?

Moriarty: Shall we say, X pounds.

Seagoon: I accept! [pauses for audience laughter]That's more than I ever got here. Where shall I meet you?

Moriarty: Wherever you like.

Seagoon: Right. See you there.

Moriarty: Good. Now, umm, what time?

Seagoon: I'll leave that to you.

Moriarty: Splendid. Don't be late. Goodbye.

Sellers (Scottish): Who was that Neddie?

Seagoon: Curse! I forgot to ask.

FX: Rattling phone cradle/hook.

Seagoon: (into phone) Hello, hello, hello hello?

Moriarty: (on phone) Yes. Yes.

Seagoon: I forgot to ask your name.

Moriarty: I'm sorry. I can't tell you.

Seagoon: Why not?

Moriarty: I've hung up.

Seagoon: Curse.

Moriarty: However, while we're about it, what's yours?

Seagoon: Seagoon.

Moriarty: Till we meet then. Au resevoir.

FX: Hangs up phone

Seagoon: Well, Mister Fudgeknuckle. I'm handing in my notice.

Sellers (Scottish): Dear laddie. Just because you resign don't think Norwich Museum's going to fall doon.

Seagoon: Very well. [loudly] I resign! [silence] Right, now hands up all those who thought the museum was going to fall down. Eh? Come along. Come along, let's see you. Right. Now, take a hundred lines. 'I must not try and guess the end of Goon Show gags'. Alright. [snap fingers] Carry on.

Grams: [Crash of building collapsing, masonry falling, etc.]

Seagoon: Wrong again. That was the Tower of Pisa. Carry on Mister Greenslade. Give 'em the old chat there on the old wireless.

Greenslade: We take up the story where Neddie Seagoon Kneecaps meets the mysterious phone caller in London, the well-known place.

Seagoon: Aaagh. Good evening. I'm sorry I'm late.

Moriarty: I accept your applegopalogee. Now then, follow me into this highly mysterious house.

FX: [Door opens to sound of long squeaking hinges. Door closed]

Moriarty: Now Neddie. Follow me into this highly mysterious room.

FX: [Rattle of door knob, door opened]

Grytpype: Oh. Good evening, gentlemen.

FX: [Door closes]

Grytpype: Aah. Mister Seagoon.

Seagoon: How do you do.

Grytpype: Throat!

Throat: Yes?

Grytpype: Take Mister Seagoon's hat. And burn it.

Throat: Right.

Seagoon: So this was the honourable Grytpype-Thynne. He stood warming himself in front of the big open fire with his big open trousers. Around the room were hung mummified trams, ancient scrolls, scripts, parchment overcoats, and a few early stone saxaphones.

Grytpype: Come, Neddie. Warm yourself by the fire. Oh, Moriarty. Break open a bottle of wine.

FX: [Bottle smashes]

Grytpype: Thank you. Now, Neddie, what experience have you had in translating ancient scripts?

Seagoon: Three years with Ray's a Laugh.

Grytpype: A graduate, by jove. Well, this calls for a drink. Moriarty, break open another bottle.

FX: [Bottle smashes]

Grytpype: Thank you. So, Neddie, you've been on the radio, have you?

Seagoon: Yes. Though I fear it's a dying medium.

Grytpype: I knew a dying medium once. He got better.

Seagoon: How terribly jolly for the spirit.

Grytpype: Yes, Neddie. [Both laugh] Oh dear. The Director of the BBC Home Service is looking for new ideas.

Seagoon: How about suicide.

Grytpype: Yes. Yes. The point is, you see, when the Goon Show finishes, they want to try to restore the dignity of Tuesday nights.

Seagoon: How about closing down.

Grytpype: Oh, ye good joke, I say. Moriarty...

FX: [Bottle smashes]

Grytpype: Thank you. Neddie, let me tell you a tale. Four thousand years ago a Lebanese slave named Purdom recorded the only known music of ancient Babylon. Now, this music was lost but has been seen recently in a certain Arab zouk.

Seagoon: What's a zouk?

Grytpype: Zouk it and see. But, um...

FX: [Bottle smashes]

Grytpype: Thank you, Moriarty. Let Greenslade explain. What I want.... [Fades quickly]

Greenslade: May I explain that the BBC Home Service are offering fifty pounds for the recovery of this lost manuscript of Purdom. Fifty pounds, or a life subscription to the Radio Times. While Mister Seagoon is deciding which of these offers to accept, a fine old English gentleman Max Geldray will play a frozen Arab sock from the waist down.

Max Geldray and Orchestra: [Musical interlude: "I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me"]

Greenslade: The highly esteemed Goon Show, part the second, in which, Ned Seagoon travels to foreign climes in search of the lost papyrus.

Orchestra: [Eastern mood music with Indian type voices over]

Seagoon: Mesopotamia, city of filth. As I stepped down the gangplank at Abudan, I was greeted by a mysterious Arab.

Willum: Psst. 'Ere, are you Neddie Seagoon?

Seagoon: Only by name.

Willum: Follow me, mate.

Grams: [Two sets of footsteps going faster until running]

Seagoon (out of breath): I followed him for three weeks. Unable to contain my curiosity I asked him... Where are you taking me?

Willum: Nowhere, mate.

Seagoon: Then why did you ask me to follow you?

Willum: I was lonely, mate.

Seagoon: What! You've brought me all this way, for nothing?

Willum: Well, you can pay me if you want to, but...

Seagoon: I've got a good mind to...

Willum: No, no, no, don't nut me, mate, don't nut me. I'll tell you the truth, so, cor, love a duck, struth, cor, stone the crow, cor blimey, I will.

Seagoon: Londoner, aren't you?

Willum: No, Yorkshire. You see, mate, I was bribed to lead you into this desert and leave you here to die.

Seagoon: Leave me here to die?

Willum: Well, to die or tomorrow.

Seagoon: I don't wish to know that!

Willum: Neither do I.

Seagoon: Who does. Well... Who put you up to this?

Willum: The forces of evil.

Seagoon: The horses of thevil? Er, who are they? Speak up so that listeners without radio sets might clearly hear the plot.

Willum: The bloke's names was Doctor Eidelbergers and Yakomottoes. They're after the lost music of Purdom.

Seagoon: They mustn't get it before the Home Service. Now, how do we get out of this terrible desert? But, hisst! I hear horses heeves approaching.

Grams: [Outlandish hissing and puffing engine noises, backfiring, alarm (engine room?) bell rings, more backfiring, engine hisses until stops, then pop. Then something falls off (hubcap?)]

Eccles: Ha-llo! Are you the one that's lost in the desert?

Seagoon: Yes, but how did you know?

Eccles: I've been listening on the radio.

Seagoon: I eyed the stranger closely. He was living proof that the Piltdown Skull was not a hoax. He was dressed in an egg-stained nightshirt, army surplus boots, and a racoon-skinned trilby with the brim pulled well down over the knees.

Eccles: You can laugh. You can laugh. I'm the famous Eccles.

Seagoon: Famous for what?

Eccles: Well... You've seen the Eiffel Tower?

Seagoon: Yes.

Eccles: Well... Let that be a lesson to you. [Off, to audience] These are all on my side.

Seagoon: Wait a minute. How does the Eiffel Tower make you famous?

Eccles: I fell off it, heh-heh.

Seagoon: No man has ever fallen off the Eiffel Tower and lived.

Eccles: You call this living?

Seagoon: Only during the mating season.

Eccles: Good luck!

Seagoon: Where do you live?

Eccles: Oh, in that home over there.

Seagoon: That's a pyramid. The place where they bury the dead.

Eccles: Any questions?

Seagoon: Well, now you've exhausted your store of three letter words perhaps you'd be so kind as to give us a lift to the nearest settlement.

Eccles: OK. There ain't no room in my car, but you can run behind.

Seagoon: Thanks. That'll save walking.

Eccles: Hold tight.

Willum: Matey.

Eccles: Yup?

Willum: Can I stand on the running board?

Eccles: Certainly. Now, hold tight now.

Grams: [Engine noises interspersed with excited exclamations and hoy hoys, honks horn and unintelligible phrase from Eccles, hissing, backfires, drives off, fades]

Willum: Well, it's no good standing here on this running board. Might as well follow 'em.

Seagoon: I'll come with you.

Eccles: Mind if I come too?

Seagoon: About time you came to. Now, come on. We must get to town before sundown. You take the saxophone. Eccles, you on the piano. Now, let's go.

Grams: [Dance music accompanied by jogging footsteps]

Greenslade: Meantime, unknown to Seagoon and the Director of the Home Service, on a bus travelling from Oldham to Cleethorpes, a certain conversation is going on.

Sellers (slow dumb accent): It's in a cage you say.

Seacombe (same slow dumb manner): Aye. It were when I bought it, you know.

Sellers: Aye. What kind of bird is it?

Seacombe: Well, I'm not sure really. You see I got it off a sailor, you know.

Sellers: Oh, aye. I say, what's the colour of its plumage?

Seacombe: Oh. You can't see it. It's covered with feathers.

Sellers: Nature's wonderful, i'n't it.

Seacombe: Aye.

Sellers: I don't know what they'll think of next.

Seacombe: Sailor gave it 'me, you know.

Sellers: Oh, aye?

Seacombe: Aye. A sailor.

Sellers: Oh, aye.

Seacombe: It's got a red beak at one end and a tail at the other.

Sellers: And...?

Seacombe: And a bird in between.

Sellers: It's in between then, is it?

Seacombe: Aye.

Sellers: Aye. That's a good place for it, you know.

Seacombe: Well, he seems to be 'appy there, you know.

Sellers: Well, then I wouldn't move him.

Seacombe: I don't think I shall, really.

Sellers: You know, I had one the same build. Beak one end, tail the other, and the bird dead in between, it were.

Seacombe: They're like that, aren't they?

Sellers: Oh, aye.

Seagoon: Funny that, aye.

Sellers: They look lovely too.

Seacombe: They do look nice. You can't se.., you can't comment, you must admit.

Sellers: I say, what's this I've heard about your missus.

Seacombe: Oh aye. Well, you know. It's very funny this. She had an operation on the kitchen table amongst the cornflakes packets and then, er.... [fades away]

Greenslade: Ladies and gentlemen. That conversation has nothing to do with the show. But we thought listeners might like to hear what a couple of real idiots sounded like. And if you would like to hear four real idiots, keep listening...

Ray Ellington and His Quartet: [Musical interlude: "Mambo Italiano"]

Greenslade: We return you now to The Music Of Purdom, part the third.

Orchestra: [Sombre Eastern mood music, voices yelling over top]

Greenslade: Lost. Seagoon and company are hopelessly lost in the desert. And in a blinding sandstorm, see a light ahead. It is a little antique shop on the outskirts of Aleppo.

Grams: [Sound of windstorm]

Bannister (sings): Yim bom biddle dee. Yim bom biddle doh. Yim bom...

FX: [Door opens, closes, howling wind stops]

Crun: Min...

Bannister: Yim bom Italiano yum diddle dee... I got...

Crun: Minnie. Min. Min.

Bannister: What?

Crun: Stop that modern Eastern style rhythm singing. Please remember, we're British.

Bannister: Mmm. I've got to keep my voice in practice, Henry. My day is coming, buddy.

Crun: What? What do you mean?

Bannister: Well. Nanveegler can't live forever.

Crun: What do you mean she can't? She has.

Bannister: Yum yum yumbo Italiano. Yim dim biddle doh. Yukabako...

Crun: Min. Min. Stop it.

Bannister: Biddle doh...

Crun: Naughty Min.

Bannister: What?

Crun: Look, Min. I want you to send this to Mister Nay Master of Bond Street Art Galleries.

Bannister: What is it?

Crun: It's a rare eau wine vase.

Bannister: Oh.

Crun: Be careful... With it... Min. It's worth...

FX: [Vase smashing]

Crun: ...Nothing.

Bannister: Yim born biddle...

Ellington (big chief voice): Me Ellinga!

FX: [Door opens]

Ellington: Me strong. Me beat man with one hand. Me kill. Strong. Me kill 'em!

Crun: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Ellington: Me kill um...

Crun: Very good. Yes I want... Ellinga, I want you to take this...

FX: [Knocking at the door]

Crun: Drat it. Ellinga, answer the...

Ellington: Me strong! Me kill a man with one hand [continues under following hubbub]

FX: [Knocking at door continues]

Crun: Answer the door, Ellinga.

Bannister: Answer the door Henry.

FX: [Phone rings, knocking on door continues]

Bannister: The phone's ringing, Henry.

Crun: I know it's ringing.

Bannister: Then why don't you answer it, buddy.

Crun: I can't, when it's making all that noise.

Bannister: Answer that phone.

Crun: Answer the door.

FX: [Knocking at door continues, plus phone continues ringing]

Ellington: Me strong! Me kill 'em man with one hand. Me kill.

Seagoon (shouts): Anybody in? Anybody in?

Bannister (singing): Yim bon adle dee ... [continues over hubbub]

Crun: Stop that!

Seagoon: Open up this door!

Ellington: Me strong. Me kill 'em...

Grams: [Over all this noise Big Ben chimes]

Crun (yells over all this din): Stop it! Stop! Stoooooooooop!

FX: [All noises stop]

Crun: Stop it, do you hear me! Nyuk, nyuk. Nyuk-aaaahh. Aaah! Aaah! Ooh. [sound of nose being noisily blown once] [short second of silence]

Bannister (sings): Yim bom biddle...

Ellington: Me strong! Me...

FX: [Door knocking starts up again]

Grams: [Big Ben chimes, bagpipes start playing]

Seagoon (shouts): Open the door! Open the door!

FX: [Door opens]

Seagoon: Stooooop!

FX: [All noises stop]

Seagoon: What the devil's going on in here?

Crun: Do you come here often?

Seagoon: Only in the mating season.

Bannister: Ooohh!

Crun: Steady, Min.

Bannister: Yes, buddy.

Seagoon: I observe that this is an antique shop. Tell me. Have you by any chance come across a manuscript signed Purdom?

Crun: Yes.

Seagoon: What?

Crun: Yes. I threw it in the dustbin yesterday.

Seagoon: Has it been emptied?

Crun: Yes. They empty all Arab dustbins at Sidi Rosaic.

Seagoon: Come, Eccles. We must hurry.

Eccles: OK.

Grams: [Third Man Theme played fast]

Greenslade: We move now to Sidi Rosaic. The great Arab dustheap.

FX: [Clank of bins]

Omnes: Pooh! Pooh! [continues under:]

FX: [Dustbins clanging, lids off, etc. continues under:]

Eccles: Blimey! Pooh!

Seagoon: Put that down, Eccles.

Eccles: Oooh. Look at dat. Pooh!

FX: [More dustbins clanging, more Phew! Pooh! Pong!]

Greenslade (background noises stop): While Mister Seagoon is searching for the lost manuscript, let us go over to Churdstone Prison, where Mondigent Clute is waiting for us.

Sellers (interviewer voice): Hello listeners. And I'm speaking from Churdstone Prison, the new social reform prison and standing next to me is the prison Governor Mister Norris Lurker. Good evening Mister Lurker.

Seacombe: Good evening!

Sellers: Grand. Mister Lurker, this is, is it not, a prison without bars.

Seacombe: Yes. I believe that when a man gives us his word not to escape, that's good enough for us, you know.

Sellers: Grand.

Seacombe: Anything's good enough for us. We have no restrictions on the prisoners whatsoever, whatsoever. Anytime they like they can walk out of here. No bars, you know. No bars at all.

Sellers: No.

Seacombe: All we have is their word of honour.

Sellers: Yes. Grand. Grand. Er, could we interview one of these honour prisoners?

Seacombe: Certainly.

Sellers: Good. Good.

Seacombe (shouts): James! [pause] James!? [pause] Wilson? Barry Wilson! [pause] Hamilton! Hamilton!? Charlie Brown? Willoughby? [more agitated] Crouch? Crouch? Er... Danby? Charkampton!? Aberdan!? [garbled] [panics, shouting to fade]

Grams: [Alarm bells ring, followed by dance music over]

Milligan (sings): I'm only a strolling vagabond so good-a-night...

Grams: [Fred the oyster sound, followed by fast marching to trumpet band]

Milligan: This isn't good enough, you know.

Greenslade: We return now to the great Arab dust heap.

Omnes: Poooh! Phew! Pooh!

FX: [Dustbins clanging, lids taken off and on]

Eccles: Cor blimey! Look at this one!

Seagoon: Leave it alone, Eccles.

Eccles: Oh, oh,

Seagoon: Nar, it's no good, it's not here. There's no sign of the lost manuscript. Wait! This dustbin here.

Eccles: What?

Seagoon: Eccles. Help me to empty it. Come on.

FX: [Dustbin upended, sound of cans, etc., falling out]

Bluebottle: Aiegghowie! You rotten swines, you! Eeeh! You have nutted me. I was kippin' in the dustbin, and splunge! I was hurled out onto my little nut. Eeeh!

Seagoon: Little rubbish-covered idiot. Who are you?

Bluebottle: Who am I? I'm Blunebottle. Yingtong idn-plong ding.

Seagoon: Good!

Bluebottle: If you listen to the radio you'd know that was'n Bluebottle. Dat's was what I am. Do you come here often?

Seagoon: Only during the mating season.

Bluebottle: Oh.

Seagoon: Now, have you seen an ancient musical document signed Purdom?

Bluebottle: No, my capitan. I have not seen an ancient musical document signed Purdom. Thinks: I have not seen an ancient musical document named Purdom. No.

Eccles: Quick! Quick. Ooh, look, ooh! What's this I found?

Seagoon: Let's see. This is it!

Bluebottle: Eee!

Seagoon: [Laughs] The lost music of Purdom. [Laughs] Eccles, let the world hear it!

Eccles: Oooh! The lost music of Purdom. [Sings] Pur-dum Per-dum Purdum purdum purdum purdum......

Orchestra: [Closing theme]

Greenslade: That was the Goon Show, a recorded programme featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan, with the Ray Ellington Quartet and Max Geldray. The orchestra was conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes. Announcer Wallace Greenslade. The programme produced by Peter Eton.

Orchestra: [Outro]