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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Robert And The Toymaker

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(DRAMATIC MUSIC)

(MEN SHOUTING)

(KNOCKS ON DOOR)

Hello.

Please sir, please.

The Gestapo are chasing me, may I take shelter in your home?

(MEN SHOUTING)

Please sir, they're going to kill me.

Okay, okay.

Thank you, thank you.

(PANTING)

Wait.

What's going on?

Who is that?

(KNOCK ON DOOR)

Just follow my lead.

It will be all right.

(BANGING ON DOOR)

I'm Senior Stormleader Gebhardt.

This is Under Stormleader Fegelein.

What is this about?

We are pursuing an enemy of the state.

We have reason to believe he may have entered your home.

I'm afraid not.

We haven't had any visitors tonight.

What's your name?

I'm Christophe Muller. This is my wife, Brigitte.

Is it just the two of you in the house this evening?

My daughter Esther is asleep upstairs.

We would like to conduct a search of the premises.

Are there any objections?

No.

Sir, may I go upstairs

and bring my daughter down to join us?

She will be frightened

if you enter her room without warning.

(SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC PLAYING)

You have two minutes.

(FOOTSTEPS MOVING AWAY)

May I ask you what crime the man you are looking for has committed?

The man is considered a threat to national security.

Are you a supporter of the Fuehrer?

Of course.

Then you should want to see the fugitive captured

as soon as possible.

I do.

(FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING)

It's okay, sweetheart.

These men need to look at the house

to be sure of our safety.

Now, before we begin,

is there anything you wish to tell us

that would make conducting of a search unnecessary?

CHRISTOPHE: I don't have any information.

We live a very quiet life here.

We're not used to this.

If you cooperate you have nothing to fear.

Fegelein, you search upstairs.

Yes, sir.

Nothing.

It's clear.

We thank you for your cooperation.

Hold on.

GEBHARDT: What?

FEGELEIN: Did you check in there?

No.

(SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC PLAYING)

FEGELEIN: Nothing of interest.

Okay, let's go.

Good night.

Good night, officers.

Hello?

Have they gone?

Yeah, you're safe.

(PANTING)

I am sorry we can't offer you something more hospitable.

But it's better you be hidden should the officers return.

Thank you, Christophe.

I owe you a huge debt of gratitude.

I'm happy to offer you temporary shelter.

But my family will be in danger if your stay

becomes a long-term arrangement.

Of course.

Just a few days would be appreciated.

I have friends on the east side of Bavaria.

I'll head to them once the search dies down.

Good.

Can I ask you something?

Of course.

The book.

You haven't let it go since you arrived.

What is the meaning of it?

If I don't tell you,

then you don't have to lie when they ask you.

But I assure you, I am no criminal.

I pose no threat to you, or your family, or anyone else.

I was a historian by trade.

Doing research for the Fuehrer.

But I uncovered some dark secrets

about the Fuehrer's plans for our country,

and I felt it was my duty to step and stop it.

CHRISTOPHE: I understand.

I don't support the current regime.

Although I will not voice that openly, of course.

Indeed.

We will provide you with food and shelter.

All I expect in return is respect for my family.

Yes, of course.

Thank you.

(SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING)

(GRUNTING)

Here you go, my love.

Thank you, sweetheart.

I like seeing sweat on a working man's forehead.

Oh, do you now?

(GROWLS)

(BOTH LAUGHING)

Christophe!

Christophe.

What is it?

Christophe, look.

(PANTING)

They know he's here.

(PANTING)

Make sure Benjamin returns to the attic, okay?

Okay.

Tell Esther we have visitors.

Okay.

It will be all right.

The book!

I need the book!

There's no time.

Hide it. Whatever you do, don't let them find it.

Herr Muller.

Yes?

I am Colonel Ludolf von Alvensleben.

How are you on this glorious day?

Fine, thank you.

Good.

Uh, you may have guessed the reason for my visit today.

It's regarding the matter my officers discussed with you a few days ago.

They inspected my home.

I'm aware of that.

Forgive me, I hate to trouble your family again,

but it would be remiss of me not to follow up

on such an important matter of national security.

You understand, don't you?

Of course.

Good.

May we go in for a moment?

Yes, please.

(DOOR OPENS)

Ah, this must be your lovely wife.

CHRISTOPHE: Yes, this is Brigitte.

Frau Muller, a great pleasure.

BRIGITTE: Would you like a drink?

No thank you, I do not want to take up

too much of your time.

Though I'd love to meet your lovely daughter,

she's at home today?

Uh, yes, she's upstairs in her bedroom.

Excellent, perhaps I'll get a chance to meet her later.

Herr Muller...

Please, call me Christophe.

Very well, Christophe.

May we speak privately?

Yes, of course.

I'll accompany her.

Thank you, Fegelein.

Please.

Sit.

Ahh.

We are both busy men, so I'll get straight to the point.

The enemy of the state we are looking for

is a man by the name of Benjamin Hoffman.

He has stolen important government documents which,

if they fell into the hands of our enemies,

would have grave consequences for our national security.

It is our understanding that Hoffman

is intent on selling these documents to a rival nation.

I'm sure you understand it is imperative we prevent it.

Of course.

I assume of course you are loyal to the Fuehrer.

I'm a very proud German.

Of course you are.

So, if you are to encounter this man,

it would be your duty as a proud German citizen

to inform the authorities, yes?

Of course.

Do you know what exactly what it is I do for the Fuehrer?

No.

Well, here in the Bavaria region,

I am responsible for, amongst other things,

finding and interrogating people

suspected of harboring enemies of the state.

Do you know why I was appointed to such a position?

No.

It is because unlike the average human being,

I do not treat lying as an emotional matter.

You see, lying is a science.

And it's a very complex science.

There are many different signals

to tell if someone is lying.

There are some people who can learn

to control the overt symptoms,

but there are some things that we as human beings

simply cannot control.

Namely, the nervous system.

When you are in a stressful situation,

your autonomic and limbic systems react.

Now this means that your whole body

prepares you for the imminent threat.

Your blood vessels constrict,

you begin to breath faster,

your heart beats more rapidly.

This leads to sweating.

Now, as the adrenaline shoots through the body

it is very difficult to prevent the inevitable trembling

in various body parts such as your hands and feet.

In this war,

the most useful weapon is not a pistol.

It is the nervous system.

It tells me everything I need to know.

CHRISTOPHE: I understand.

What do you understand, Herr Muller?

You are a human lie detector.

Ha, that's something of an over-simplification,

but certainly an accurate sentiment.

So,

Christophe.

Before we do one final search of your home,

is there anything you'd like to share with me?

Any information you might have?

I have no information.

Of course.

I would appreciate it if you and your wife

would accompany me and my men as we conduct our search.

CHRISTOPHE: Of course.

A bedroom?

It's my daughter's.

You will allow us to have a look?

(DOOR OPENS)

Esther, this is Colonel von Alvensleben.

Please forgive her nervousness, Colonel.

She's not used to visitors of such esteem.

No need to be alarmed, young lady.

I'm merely here to ensure the safety of your family.

She's a very beautiful girl.

You play cards?

Sometimes.

Hmm.

Do you know poker?

ESHTER: No.

Well, this is a very interesting game.

A key part of it is bluffing.

You know what bluffing is?

No.

Hmm.

Bluffing is an act of deception

designed to make your weak hand

look stronger than it is.

COLONEL: And to get your opponent to fold.

That means to lay down his hand.

But you knew that already.

She's very smart.

Do you know what might make a successful bluff?

No.

Well, first you need to chose your moments wisely.

There are several key elements to consider.

First, you need to pick the right opponent to bluff against.

You don't want to bluff against a man

who will not lay down his hand,

even when he knows you have him beat.

Bluffing on a hand which has a small chance of success

is much easier to do.

Next, you need to determine the size of your bet.

Now ideally, you want to bet the least amount necessary

to get your opponent to fold.

However, and this is most important,

you never want to bluff against a man

who knows when you are bluffing.

See your hand.

If your opponent can read your signals

you will lose.

The truth is, novice players

fall into the trap of bluffing far too often.

I would suggest as a new player,

avoiding the temptation to bluff at all.

It is best to play a straight hand,

and let fate decide your outcome.

What do you think, Christophe?

I'm sure you're a very formidable opponent

at the poker table, Colonel.

Your parents are going to show me

the rest of the house now.

Before they do,

is there anything you'd like to share with me?

What about?

Have you seen any house-guests over the last few days?

Yes.

Who?

My friend Sandra was here last week.

How nice.

Well, we will leave you in peace for the moment.

Thank you for allowing us to see your room.

Christophe.

Ah, your bedroom?

Yes.

May I?

Of course.

This is a magnificent house.

Thank you.

You're a very rich man, Christophe.

I'm afraid not.

Oh, but you are.

Every day you are surrounded by such beauty.

This is to be treasured.

The beauty of nature,

of your wife and daughter.

And this house.

This makes you a very rich man in my book.

I suppose you're right.

(RUMBLING)

It is a shame.

You are also a very foolish man.

A fool is a man who does not know how to fold,

even when he knows you have him beat.

But you knew that already.

COLONEL: They say a fool is not merely a man who does foolish things.

Please...

(WHIMPERING)

(PANTING)

Ahh.

They say in a man's last moments

we find out who he really is.

Unfortunately, we must now find out who you really are.

Kill them both.

(GLASS SHATTERING)

(KNOCKING ON DOOR)

We're closed. Please come back in the morning.

ESTHER: No, please, please I have to come in!

Please, let me in!

(ESTHER SOBBING)

(SPUTTERING)

What has happened to you?

My dear child.

What is your name?

Esther.

Esther?

Just stay still.

Don't move.

I have to phone up, I will call for help.

No, it's too late.

This book, the Nazis are looking for it.

It's...

No.

No.

Dear God.

GEBHARDT: Anyone who gives shelter

to a fugitive by the name of Esther Muller

may be considered an enemy of the Fuehrer.

Those...

...who conceal information

will be dealt with

in the strongest possible terms!

(BREATHING HEAVILY)

(RADIO PLAYING)

(SPEAKING INDISTINCTLY)

(BELL CHIMING)

(MUMBLING)

Good morning, Abigail.

Good morning, Amos.

Still talking to the dolls, I see?

It may seem silly to some,

but to me, they are my children.

Yeah. It's understandable.

You are their creator.

I am indeed.

(SIGHING)

(SCRAPING WITH THE BROOM)

Amos?

Amos.

Amos!

Amos!

Oh, sorry.

Something on your mind?

Oh, no.

There's always something to think about, no?

The financial problem?

No.

Not so much.

(CLEARING THROAT)

I will never understand why you didn't leave the country

with your sister when you had the chance to.

This business has been in the family for many, many years.

You know this.

Yeah, I know.

But business isn't doing great, Amos.

To be honest, it's not even doing average.

I know.

Well, this shop...

It sells the finest toys in Bavaria.

And that must count for something.

Yes, but people aren't coming in to buy them.

Do you know?

My father, listen to me.

My father used to say, "Amos,

"don't let commerce become more important than the art.

"Because it's art that feeds the soul."

Yes, not the money, I know.

(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

And artistry is very noble, Amos.

But look, you can barely afford to pay me.

I...

To be honest, I...

I don't think I'm going to be able to stay much longer.

Oh, my sweet.

My sweet child.

Look, you just give me a few more weeks.

And I will find a solution.

Okay?

Okay.

But that's what you said last month.

(BELL CHIMING)

Look, look.

Things are looking up already.

Morning, sir.

Please, come in, good morning.

I see you like the doll house, eh?

This is one of my favorites, too.

Tiny windows to another world.

A safe world, full of fun and imagination.

I'm gonna go home for the day if that's okay.

And do you need anything from the shop?

No no, I'll be fine.

You be careful out there tonight, okay?

Yeah, you too, don't stay up too late.

See you tomorrow.

Good night, Abigail.

(BREATHING HEAVILY)

My oh my.

Several of us searched the Muller house.

No sign of the book, the girl must have taken it with her.

I made inquiries with several residents in the nearby village this morning.

No one has provided any useful information.

In a small town everyone keeps track

of what their neighbors are doing.

Someone in Rosenheim knows where the girl is.

Someone is harboring her.

Please, return to the village immediately,

begin questioning the villagers.

If information is not forthcoming, then...

I'm afraid more persuasive tactics will be necessary.

Yes, sir!

Yes, sir!

(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(LAUGHING)

What was I thinking?

Robert,

you're really alive?

You look wonderful.

Absolutely wonderful.

Why, you look a little happier today.

Indeed.

I've made a wonderful discovery.

(MUSIC PLAYING ON RADIO)

See that doll?

The ugly one.

Don't say that.

You will hurt his feelings.

Okay.

This is Robert.

Now, what I'm about to tell you,

it must never leave the shop.

You understand, it stays between us, okay?

Of course.

Good.

The other night, a girl came to the shop,

and she left a book with me and then fled.

A book?

Yes.

A book.

The Nazis are looking for it.

Why did she give it to you?

I don't know. I really don't.

But when I looked inside the book,

it's pages were full of spells.

Some I didn't understand, but one spell,

a spell that brings life to the inanimate.

Are you feeling all right today, Amos?

Indeed.

Indeed I am.

Because now I can truly bring these creations to life.

Come on, Amos, no.

See for yourself.

Robert.

Show Abigail.

Come on, Robert.

Show Abigail you're alive.

Perhaps he's a little shy.

He's not shy, no.

I don't understand it.

He was running about last night.

Come on, you should rest today.

I'll make you a drink.

I don't want a drink.

It's okay.

You will show me later, come on.

Please.

Something's gone wrong.

Yes.

I hope you have good news.

I'm afraid not, sir.

We've questioned over a dozen people in the village.

The trail is still cold.

(VON ALVENSLEBEN YELLING)

I have a meeting with the Fuehrer in a few days.

How do you think he's going to react

when I tell him we've been outwitted by a bunch of...

We need a change of tactics.

Rosenheim is a poor village.

We need something they will respond to.

What's that, sir?

We will offer a very handsome reward

and a guarantee of no further harassment

to anyone with information

leading to the capture of the book.

But do you think this will have more impact, sir?

Is fear not the ultimate persuasion?

Hope has its place too, Fegelein.

Twenty thousand Deutschmarks would change the life of any poor man.

But there is no way all of the villagers

will harbor someone worth so much.

Put the word out immediately. 20,000 for information

leading to the capture of Esther Muller.

Yes, sir!

Yes, sir!

(MUSIC PLAYING ON RADIO)

(ROBERT BREATHING)

(CLATTERS)

(GASPS)

Hello?

(ROBERT BREATHING HEAVILY)

(ABIGAIL SCREAMING)

Amos!

Stop that right now!

This is Abigail.

She is a friend, do you understand?

(ABIGAIL WHIMPERING)

Do you?

Now give me that pencil.

Look what you've done to her.

Naughty boy!

(SOBBING)

Oh, my dear.

Come, come.

It's all right.

It's all right, my child.

When you first told me about that book,

I thought you were losing your mind.

Now you know I'm not.

But why did he want to hurt me?

I don't know.

I've been trying to work it out, Abigail.

Do you know, I'm thinking that maybe

it's something to do with the source of the doll's parts.

I thought you made him from scratch.

No, no.

Not Robert.

He and the other dolls, Otto and Isabella,

I sourced their parts from different places

and assembled them right here in the workshop.

No, I first discovered Robert

after reading in the newspapers that a young boy had died.

His body was found in a local park, clutching a doll.

Turned out that the boy's father had killed him.

God, that's horrible.

Indeed, indeed.

After the case was closed, I purchased the doll.

I remodeled his face, I reinforced the limbs.

I named him Robert.

After the boy who had died.

Why did you want such a morbid thing?

You can call me an old fool,

but I felt as if the boy's soul had entered the doll.

I felt that his soul would be in torment.

So I brought him here to a secure home, filled with toys.

I thought a place full of childhood innocence

would allow his soul to live in peace, you know.

Okay, that thing

did not seem like a soul at peace to me, Amos.

Okay? This is dangerous.

Perhaps anger still remains about the way the boy died.

Look, I'm sorry but I can't keep working here.

Please...

Please don't go, Abigail.

I can't put myself in danger like this anymore.

I'm sorry, but today will be my last day.

This is terrible.

Of course I will be very sad to see you go.

I will be sad, too.

Abigail was like family to me.

She really was.

But now she's gone,

perhaps it is time to create a family of our own.

Robert. This is it.

We are about to become a real family.

(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYING)

Oh, my!

Robert, it's worked.

It's really worked.

Oh, Otto, Isabel.

Good news, sir.

We have an informant waiting in the hallway.

She's interested in the reward.

Is the information genuine?

I don't know yet.

She wanted to talk to someone in a senior position.

Well let's hope so Gebhardt.

I'm tired of dealing with these lying idiots

trying to claim the reward.

Please, bring her in.

So, you know for a fact this

Amos Blackwood has the book?

Yes, he told me that a girl named Esther gave it to him.

But you didn't actually see it.

No.

So how do you know Herr Blackwood is not some senile old fool?

Because he's been using the book.

One toy in the shop, it came to life and attacked me.

It did, it did.

Fraulein Kendrick, where in the shop do you think

Herr Blackwood would keep the book?

Well, he has living quarters above the shop.

And there is a workshop in the back room.

So I would say either one of those places are a safe bet.

Excellent.

Thank you Fraulein, you've been most helpful.

So when do I get paid?

Paid?

Yes, the reward.

Yes, of course.

Gebhardt, please pay her.

How much?

Well, all of it.

All of it.

Tell me, Fraulein.

Have you ever heard of the correlation in behavior

between humans and rats?

I don't understand.

Surprisingly, humans and rats are actually more alike than they are different.

For one thing, we are both warm blooded and mammals.

Rats eat everything we do, and they live where we live.

But you know what the most amazing similarities are?

No.

Rats form social groups.

And they exhibit many of the same behaviors as humans.

Also, this is my favorite part,

rats have culture.

Cultured rats, it's amazing, ja?

Sadly, rats also exhibit many of the same

negative behaviors as humans.

For instance, when faced with overpopulation,

rats turn extremely violent.

This is one of the sadder aspects of the rat race, hmm?

But you know what the real trouble with the rat race is?

Even if you win the race...

You are still a rat.

Forgive me.

Please,

go to the toymaker's shop.

Find the book, and bring Herr Blackwood to me, alive.

I need to know what he's been doing with the book.

Yes, sir!

Yes, sir!

Ah, but before you do, please call the cleaners.

(METAL CLANKING)

(EERIE MUSIC PLAYING)

That noise.

Was it you?

You all stay there.

(GASPS)

The old fucker's in the car boot.

There we go.

Burn that shit-hole to the ground.

Then we meet later on in headquarters.

Okay.

(BELL CHIMING)

Meet me at the headquarters?

Fuck you, Gebhardt.

(SPLASHING)

Where are my matches?

(DOLL BREATHING)

(OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYING)

(FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING)

Herr Blackwood.

(SIGHING)

Ah, forgive my delay.

I had several hours worth

of very important appointments to attend to.

Where have you brought me?

Where am I?

That is of minor importance right now.

What is of major importance is who I am.

And what you can do for me.

Who are you?

Right now, to you?

I am God.

Whether you live or die rests solely with me.

So I would act accordingly.

Tell me, what do you want?

I want to ask questions.

If the answers are helpful, then the Lord,

that's me, will giveth.

If the answers are vague then

the Lord will not be so generous.

Understand?

Yeah.

Good.

Esther Muller.

What do you know about her?

Herr Blackwood, please.

Esther Muller?

This is no way to begin.

We already know many things.

I simply want to have a nice conversation.

So.

Esther Muller.

(GRUNTING)

Very well.

Allow me to elaborate.

(COUGHING)

I'm not a big believer in violence.

I prefer to use intellectual debate

and political discourse to solve my problems.

However, apparently you don't understand these things.

Unfortunately, violence is the universal language.

So.

Esther Muller?

(GROANING)

(SIGHS)

What is the matter?

Sir, I was looking for the Colonel.

He's busy in the interrogation room!

There has been a disturbance in the dining area.

What kind of disturbance?

The cutlery drawers are all over the floor.

Are you suggesting there has been an intruder?

No sir, I think it's most likely to have been an incident with the cook.

Incident?

Yes, sir, he likes to drink, and I imagine he has had

one too many to drink last night before he's gone home,

and made a mess.

Right.

Go down to the dining area and clean the mess up.

Then contact the cook, and ask him to report to me first thing in the morning,

disciplinary action may be in order.

Yes, sir.

(GROANING)

Please, Herr Blackwood.

My hands are getting tired.

I do not want to

turn to other methods.

(GROANING)

(COUGHING)

(SIGHS)

(GROANING)

Esther Muller.

Esther Muller.

She came to my shop!

(SOBBING) She came to my shop.

She gave me the book.

She gave me the book.

That is all.

Thank you, Herr Blackwood.

You see, now we are getting somewhere.

This is what I wanted to know.

(FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING)

Hello?

Hello?

(FOOTSTEPS RUNNING)

(OMINOUS MUSIC PLAYING)

Tell me about the book.

Do you understand its significance?

No.

I simply, I flipped through a few pages, that is it.

Don't know anything.

Really.

Don't.

Very well.

I will enlighten you.

To me this book is a gift.

However, in the wrong hands, it could be a weapon.

A very powerful weapon.

The book was first written many years ago

by a German scholar, Joseph von Hammersmark.

He spent many years studying ancient texts

and mystical philosophies,

in Egypt and Tibet.

Of course, many of his contemporaries

cast aspersions on his work, but Himmler and the Fuehrer,

they took a great interest in it.

To them, this book could be potentially as important

as the Holy Grail.

But why?

Because it holds the key to life.

Eternal life.

As well as many other important things,

such as the gift of life

for inanimate objects.

Does this sound familiar, Herr Blackwood?

No.

It does not.

This simply...

No, no no no.

We were finally getting somewhere, Herr Blackwood.

You established Esther had come to your shop.

You had gotten the book from here, ja?

We were having an honest conversation,

and then you retreat into deception again.

This simply won't do.

You are going to kill me, whatever I say.

Aren't you?

Of course.

It's not a matter of if you will die.

But how.

(METAL CLANKING)

What the hell is going on?

(SNIGGERING)

Little bastard!

(SCREAMS)

(SCREAMING)

(SPLUTTERING)

Whatever you say next may get chiseled onto a gravestone, so...

I would suggest something...

Poetic.

Go fuck yourself,

you son of a bitch.

It's crude,

yet poetic in its own way, I suppose.

Your defiance is an admirable quality, Herr Blackwood.

And I envy you.

You are about to discover

what science never has.

What exists beyond this world.

(WHIMPERING SOFTLY)

(SCREAMS)

(GROANING)

(GROANING)

(BREATHING HEAVILY)

(LAUGHS)

Go ahead, kill me.

Oh, my children.

Isabel.

Otto.

Robert.

I'm so very, very proud of you.

You have all done so very, very well.

But your father is not going to make it.

But I want you to know

you will

always have each other.

(INTENSE MUSIC PLAYING)

(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(GASPING)

(LAUGHING)

(DOLLS MAKING NOISE)

Shh!

Be quiet in there.

You're going to get us caught.

Robert, stop pulling her hair.

Don't worry, my children.

As soon as we reach our destination,

Papa will set you free. Now be good in there.

Here we go.

Now be good, children.

(TRAIN CHUGGING)

(DRAMATIC MUSIC)

The Description of Robert And The Toymaker