Sir Humphrey Appleby: Superb, Minister!
Bernard Woolley: Thank you, Minister.
James Hacker: Ah well, it was nothing. One must stick by one's friends, eh, Humphrey. And Bernard. Loyalty.
James Hacker: Will you answer a direct question?
Sir Humphrey Appleby: I strongly advise you not to ask a direct question.
James Hacker: Why?
Sir Humphrey Appleby: It might provoke a direct answer.
James Hacker: Never has yet.
Bernard Woolley: [Around at the Hackers' flat] Oh, there's that jar from Qumran.
Annie Hacker: Yes, funny enough, a friend of mine was round this afternoon and was frightfully interested in it.
Bernard Woolley: Oh, really?
Annie Hacker: Her name's Jenny Goodwin, from "The Guardian".
Bernard Woolley: The Guardian?
Annie Hacker: She asked where it came from.
Bernard Woolley: A journalist?
Annie Hacker: Yes. Well, the Guardian, anyway. She asked what it was worth. I said about £50.
Bernard Woolley: You said about £50.
Annie Hacker: Yes, funny enough, she thought it was genuine.
Bernard Woolley: She thought it was genuine.
Annie Hacker: Yes. Bernard, you sound like an answering machine.
Bernard Woolley: Oh, I'm sorry.
Annie Hacker: She asked if I mind if she rang up the Qumrany Embassy to ask what it was worth.
Bernard Woolley: To ask what it was worth.
[Annie gives him a strange look]
Bernard Woolley: Oh, ah, so what did you say?
Annie Hacker: Oh, I said by all means. It is only a copy, isn't it, Bernard?
Bernard Woolley: Well, uh, so far as I'm... so I'm... lead to...
[glances at his watch]
Bernard Woolley: Good gracious, is that the time?
Sir Humphrey Appleby: [Bernard has a problem] Tell me about it.
Bernard Woolley: Well, you know that jar the Minister was given in Qumran? Well, the Minister's wife liked it.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: I expect she did.
Bernard Woolley: Then when I explained the rules to her, she looked terribly sad.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: They always do.
Bernard Woolley: And then she asked was it really worth more than £50 and she said wouldn't it be marvellous if it wasn't and she sort of... looked at me.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: But my dear Bernard, a 17th century vase...
Bernard Woolley: Yes, I know, I know. But there was this terribly nice Qumrany businessman and we had a... a... a conversation and he valued it as a copy, not as an original. £49.95.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: And you believed him?
Bernard Woolley: Well, yes, he said he was an expert and he spoke Arabic awfully well. And so I accepted his valuation in good faith. After all, Islam is a jolly good faith.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Bernard, you took a grave personal risk. You're lucky nobody's been asking any questions.
Bernard Woolley: Well, that's just it, you see, a journalist from the Guardian saw it in the Minister's house and started to ask a lot of questions. Of course, Mrs Hacker said it was a copy, but, well the Press are so... horribly suspicious of things.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Despicable.
Bernard Woolley: So what shall I do?
Sir Humphrey Appleby: The Minister must be told.
Bernard Woolley: Minister, there's an urgent call for you in the communications room. A Mr Haig.
James Hacker: General Haig?
Bernard Woolley: No, MR Haig. You know, with the dimples.
James Hacker: Yes, yes. Do excuse me. Most important.
James Hacker: Bernard. Wanted in the communications room. A Mr John Walker.
Bernard Woolley: Johnnie Walker?
James Hacker: Yes, from the Scotch Office... Sorry. Scottish Office.
Annie Hacker: Isn't there a message for me?
James Hacker: Yes, of course. Bernard will get it for you if you give him your glass. If you... give him your glass, he'll get you some more orange juice.
James Hacker: Bernard, any messages?
Bernard Woolley: Well, there is one for Sir Humphrey.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Oh, good.
Bernard Woolley: The Soviet Embassy on the line. Mr Smirnoff.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Sorry. So sorry.
James Hacker: Isn't there one for me?
Bernard Woolley: There was a message from the Embassy, the school - a delegation of Teachers.
James Hacker: Ah, I must go and greet the Teachers... before the Bells goes... bell goes!
Bernard Woolley: Minister, can I have a private word with Sir Humphrey?
James Hacker: You may speak freely, Bernie.
Bernard Woolley: Yes... Oh, there was a message for you in the communications room. The VAT man, your 69 returns.
James Hacker: What?
Bernard Woolley: VAT 69.
James Hacker: Oh. Ah! Yes... thanks.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that the minister has had almost as many urgent messages as he can take.
James Hacker: Ah, Lawrence of Arabia, you're wanted in the communications room.
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Oh, good. Er, who is it?
James Hacker: Napoleon!