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The Rocking Horse Winner - Coroner's Inquest

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Introduction

The Rocking Horse Winner (Coroner's Inquest) Act 2: Scene 1 [The Coroner's Court room; Paul's mother, father, Oscar Cresswell (Paul's uncle) and Mrs Wilmot have all given evidence. It is now Bassett's turn to be questioned by the Coroner. There is a great deal of noise until the Magistrate coughs loudly and there is complete silence. Then the Cornier announces who he wishes to call to the stand.] Coroner Call Mr Bassett to the stand, please? [Bassett is a short man with a brown moustache and sharp little brown eyes. He moves towards the stand to take the oath.] Clerk (Sternly) Repeat after me. Do you swear to tell the whole true and nothing but the truth, so help me God. Bassett I swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God. (Bassett genuflects and sits down.) Coroner Mr Bassett, What is your relationship with the Darcy family? Bassett (Proudly) I am the gardener, for the Darcy's. Coroner How did you come to get to know the Darcy Family and therefore gain the job? Bassett Well, Mrs Darcy's brother Mr Cresswell got me the job. I can't do much after being wounded in the leg during the war. What a trouble war it was too. Coroner (Sarcastically) Right I see. How long have you known the Darcy family? ...read more.

Middle

There is no finger of blame being pointed, please remain clam, if you wish to continue listening to the inquest. Bassett Oh, no. I'm not implying that at all. (avoiding eye contact with Mr and Mrs Darcy.) But now you come to mention it, Mrs Darcy seemed to have a kind of coldness about her, with the children but she hid it well, when she had company. She always gave the impression that she could do better then Mr Darcy, that he was a failure. I know this because I could sense the tension when they were together. Coroner Really, why do say that? Bassett Well, I was outside most of the time. But I would always hear them arguing and it was usually about money. Master Paul would be playing on his rocking horse, I could see all this through the window, you see. Coroner Would Paul play on his rocking horse a lot? Surely he was a bit grown up for a rocking horse. Bassett (Taking a sip of water) Well, I don't know much because like I said I was working outside and it wasn't my place to say anything. After all, I am only the gardener. But I would always hear Mrs Wilmot asking Paul to stop playing on it. Paul wouldn't answer though; he never did when he was in full tilt. ...read more.

Conclusion

Master Paul lost this particular bet. However, Mr Cresswell gave him a ten-shilling note to place on Singhalese and he won, so master Paul thought his Uncle was lucky. (Stops to take yet another sip of water.) Mr Cresswell then took Master Paul to the Lincoln races, where he won money on Daffodil. Then there was Lively Spark and finally Malabar at the Derby. Mr Cresswell asked me to place �1000 on Malabar for Master Paul at his request. Which made Master Paul �8000 all in all. Coroner Finally Mrs Bassett and please remember that you are under oath, what do you think was the cause of Paul's death? Bassett Well at first I thought it was from heaven. God had decided that it was Paul's time, good rest his soul. But now I think it was evil the devil in disguise. Mrs Wilmot and I were discussing it and she reckons it's that "edipis" (Bassett's is obviously referring to the Oedipus complex) you know like that Fraud fella says. That's why he changed to the other side and 'sold his soul to the devil', if you like. Mr Darcy was never there and so Master Paul wanted to fill his shoes, if you get what I mean. I dunno, it doesn't all seem to add up. Coroner That's certainly one way to explain it. (With a half sarcastic tone in his voice but also heavy considering Bassett's evidence.) Well, Thank you for your time Mr Bassett, no further questions. I ...read more.

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