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5. THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF TOMORROW

The tiny East Anglian village of Plampton has one distinction: a famous unsolved murder. After twenty-six years, the barbarous and ritualistic slaughter of Janet Darvis remains a mystery of lasting interest, if not to the police, at least to the crime reporters of Fleets Street.

One such is Shawlor Gascoyne, a cynical, world-worn journalist with the vanity of a Nero and the thirst of a desert. To conclude his current series on famous cases, Gascoyne decides he will solve the Plampton mystery.

His enquiries start, as always, at the bar of the local hotel where the local stringer, Hamilton White, and the barmaid, Jeanette, sound the first of a series of distinctly hostile notes. The focus of village life, Gascoyne soon discovers, is the meeting hall of the Sons and Daughters of Tomorrow. This society of ageing eccentrics is lorded over by the commanding Rosa Cavendish, celebrated as the last woman to be tried under the Witchcraft Act of 1735. In common with the murdered Janet Darvis, Rosa is locally revered as "a kind of saint". But the ceremonies of the Sons and Daughters of Tomorrow over which she presides are more caballistic [sic] than canonistic.

Written by Edward Boyd.

Directed by Gerald Blake.


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