Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe
Show: Episode 1: Stamped For Murder
Date: Oct 20 1950

The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe
Episode 1: Stamped For Murder
Oct 20 1950





CAST:
NBC ANNCR
ANNOUNCER
ARCHIE GOODWIN
NERO WOLFE, the detective
GLORIA, the client
RODMAN
CROSS, swindler
HALLECK, swindler
SANFORD, document forger
INSPECTOR CRAMER







NBC ANNCR:

Stay tuned for "Nero Wolfe"! (PAUSE) If the Chimes shudder a little on Sunday afternoon, well, they know there's mystery in store Sunday with men of action like Mike Waring, better known as "The Falcon," who brings his fearless and romantic touch to the solution of another mystery. After "The Falcon," it's "High Adventure." Then, the big guy steps in. The new private eye, "Charley Wild" concludes with a few casual homicides. The Chimes mean mystery and action this Sunday afternoon on NBC! Transcribed.

ARCHIE:

My boss is the smartest and the stubbornest, the fattest and the laziest, the cleverest and the craziest, the most extravagant detective in the world -- Nero Wolfe.

MFX:

THEME, THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

It's the adventure of "Stamped for Murder," with that brilliant, eccentric private detective, orchid fancier and gargantuan gourmet, Nero Wolfe, starring Sidney Greenstreet.

MFX:

THEME, THEN OUT BEHIND--

WOLFE:

Instructions for this morning, Archie. Your notebook please. First, Mr. Sausenbeck. Inform him that the Long Island pea fowl he sent were most unsatisfactory. Pea fowl's breast flesh is not sweet and tender unless it is well-protected from all alarms, especially from the air, to prevent nervousness. Long Island is full of airplanes--

ARCHIE:

Look, Mr. Wolfe--

WOLFE:

I shall want a dozen chickens that have been raised on blueberries. And a fresh-killed lamb for tomorrow.

ARCHIE:

Uh, Mr. Wolfe, please listen. There's--

WOLFE:

Mr. Goodwin, be quiet! And then dinner on the following day becomes a problem--

ARCHIE:

Mr. Wolfe, dinner any day is going to be a problem if we don't pay Sausenbeck's bill.

WOLFE:

Then pay it.

ARCHIE:

With what? The bank account's empty.

WOLFE:

Ridiculous. There were four thousand dollars yesterday.

ARCHIE:

But you bought that shipment of orchid bulbs from Lionel Gutner. Mr. Wolfe, we need money. You've got to stop eating and drinking beer long enough to earn some.

WOLFE:

Pfui. You're an alarmist.

ARCHIE:

Will you, for the love of heaven, stop turning down clients and turn an honest dollar? I've got a couple of prospects right outside the door.

WOLFE:

Send them away!

ARCHIE:

No, sir!

WOLFE:

Send them away! Tell them I've gone to Egypt.

SFX:

ARCHIE'S FOOTSTEPS TO THE DOOR

ARCHIE:

(OFF) Nothing doing, sir.

WOLFE:

Confound you, Archie, obey orders! Send them away!

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

ARCHIE:

(OFF) Miss Kent, Mr. Rodman, come in please.

SFX:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS INTO OFFICE

GLORIA:

(OFF) Of course.

RODMAN:

(OFF) Thank you, thank you.

WOLFE:

Confound you, Archie, you're mutinous.

ARCHIE:

Yes, sir, and you're stuck with it. This is Miss Gloria Kent and Mr. Rodman.

GLORIA:

How do you do?

ARCHIE:

They arrived, as advertised, with a pressing problem.

WOLFE:

Good morning. You people are here by sufferance only. I shall speak to Mr. Goodwin about it later. Yes, indeed. I know my pressing problems, Miss Kent. What are yours?

GLORIA:

My father.

WOLFE:

In need of a court of domestic relations, Miss Kent? What does your father do? Beat you? Withhold your earnings? Discourage your suitors? Mr. Goodwin should have informed you this office does not undertake cases involving marital or family problems.

GLORIA:

But that's not the--

WOLFE:

If Mr. Goodwin had not been beguiled by your pretty face, he might have warned you and avoided this embarrassment to you and annoyance to me.

ARCHIE:

Now, now, now, now, take it easy, take it easy. How many times have I told you, you don't know how to handle women?

WOLFE:

Then suppose you let Miss Kent handle me?

GLORIA:

Well, it's simply this, Mr. Wolfe. I had some money my mother left me. My father's just spent it, without my permission. I want it back, without a scandal.

WOLFE:

Facts, Miss, Kent. How much? How spent?

GLORIA:

Ten thousand dollars. Father bought a treasure map.

WOLFE:

Indeed? From whom?

GLORIA:

A pair of swindlers named Cross and Halleck. They've driven him crazy, talking about fortunes salvaged from the SS this and the SS that. He - he's got a map, and old letters he studies-- He's childish!

WOLFE:

Many fortunes have been recovered. Many more await on the sea bottom. How do you know your father has been duped?

RODMAN:

Well, I know!

WOLFE:

You do, Mr. Rodman?

RODMAN:

Yes. Cross and Halleck bought some old letters from me, written by my grandfather from Hawaii. They used them to manufacture the map and evidence. And that's what they sold to Kent.

GLORIA:

Father thought he was being so clever. He had the paper analyzed. Of course the document research laboratory said the letters were genuine. They were! But something new had been added. (TEARFUL) I'd have never known if Mr. Rodman hadn't told me!

WOLFE:

You were a party to the swindle, Mr. Rodman?

RODMAN:

I was not! I never knew what they were up to!

GLORIA:

(TEARFUL) Mr. Wolfe, you've got to help me! I can't do anything with father. I can't convince him. Even Mr. Rodman can't.

WOLFE:

No, Miss Kent, I am sorry, this is not for me.

GLORIA:

But you must! You must! I-- (CRYING, THEN IN BG)

WOLFE:

Not in my office, madam! No tears! Please! Please! Archie, stop her!

SFX:

WOLFE RISES ... HIS FOOTSTEPS TO OFFICE DOOR

ARCHIE:

Okay, okay, okay.

WOLFE:

(MOVING OFF) Archie, when Miss Kent has finished her disgraceful exhibition, show them out.

SFX:

OFFICE DOOR OPENS, SHUTS

RODMAN:

How dare he walk out on us like he was--?

WOLFE:

(PLACATING) Easy, easy, easy. I know him, I know him, you don't. He gets into a panic when women cry; or else he's curious about what Fritz is cooking for lunch. Now, just wait a minute, please.

SFX:

ARCHIE'S FOOTSTEPS TO OFFICE DOOR WHICH OPENS AND CLOSES

ARCHIE:

Oh, aren't you ashamed of yourself walking out like that on that poor kid?

WOLFE:

That hysterical gammer? Pfui.

ARCHIE:

She's lost all of her money. She needs help.

WOLFE:

I charge high fees, Archie.

ARCHIE:

So charge a small fee! Do you want her to starve?

WOLFE:

(SKEPTICAL) Good heavens! Starve?! How monstrous.

ARCHIE:

I'm not kidding. While you'll be in here smelling your dinner, she and her father will be starving.

WOLFE:

(POINTED) I thought you were bringing me a paying client.

ARCHIE:

Well-- This is different. She's, uh--

WOLFE:

(SNEERING) Beautiful. Archie, you're impossible. (RELENTS WITH A SIGH) Oooh, very well, go back in to them. Get names, addresses, facts. I am not committed to Miss Kent's case but-- We'll see. Be a tribute I pay for your weakness for a pretty face.

MFX:

BRIDGE, THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ARCHIE:

(NARRATES) Rodman and Gloria Kent were gone, however, so all I had were the few facts they'd given me before they met Wolfe. I felt guilty about that when he came back into the office and sat down in his specially built chair. He closed his eyes, and I glared at him. [X] (TO WOLFE) Well, how much of you is awake? (NO ANSWER) Mr. Wolfe?

WOLFE:

(GRUNTS)

ARCHIE:

Well, they disappeared. Did you tell me you were going to help this girl just to get her out of the office, or did you mean it?

WOLFE:

You're a gadfly.

ARCHIE:

No, sir, no sir. You made a promise and you're stuck with it.

WOLFE:

What did you get from Rodman?

ARCHIE:

Name, address, occupation. He's a librarian, that's all.

WOLFE:

Very careless, Archie. You missed the significant point.

ARCHIE:

Such as, uh--?

WOLFE:

How did Rodman discover the letters he sold were being altered by forgery? And used for swindle? How did he locate the duped Mr. Kent?

ARCHIE:

Yeah, I guess you're right. I'll ask him next time. But, er, what about now? Are you going to get Gloria's money back?

WOLFE:

I assume you call Miss Kent "Gloria" solely in order to annoy me. It does. Stop it. Get Cross and Halleck.

ARCHIE:

On my way.

WOLFE:

You'll find them at the Hotel Beaugarde.

ARCHIE:

Huh ha! Wrong, sir. According to my notes, their address is--

WOLFE:

Never mind their address. The Hotel Beaugarde is the headquarters for successful confidence tricksters. They celebrate their victories there while the money lasts. You will possibly find Cross and Halleck drinking whiskey or lunching. Probably both.

MFX:

BRIDGE, THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ARCHIE:

(NARRATES) I located Cross and Halleck in the hotel bar, and lured them back to our place on 35th Street. Wolfe was sitting behind his desk with his hands crossed on his impressive middle, at peace with his lunch and the world, when I ushered them in. [X]

SFX:

OFFICE DOOR OPENS ... FOOTSTEPS AS ARCHIE LEADS CROSS AND HALLECK IN

ARCHIE:

(NARRATES) He sat bolt upright and scorched me with a look. (FAST AND CHEERY, TO WOLFE) Good afternoon, Mr. Wolfe. The tall one's name is Cross, the short one is Halleck. They, er, want to help me invest my money. Gentlemen, Mr. Nero Wolfe.

CROSS:

Huh?

HALLECK:

Wha--?

CROSS:

Who?

HALLECK:

Nero Wolfe?!

CROSS:

Hey, what is this?

WOLFE:

Confound you, Archie. How drunk are they?

ARCHIE:

Not too drunk for business.

HALLECK:

Let's get out o' here. Come on.

CROSS:

Yeah. The dirty shill duck decoy!

SFX:

CROSS AND HALLECK'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY

ARCHIE:

(TO CROSS AND HALLECK) Wait a minute! (TO WOLFE) You want me to keep 'em here, Mr. Wolfe?

WOLFE:

Not by violence, Archie. (CALLS) Come back here, gentleman! Unless you want seven years in the state penitentiary!

CROSS:

(OFF) Unless what?

SFX:

CROSS AND HALLECK'S FOOTSTEPS RETURN

HALLECK:

You got nuthin' on us, Wolfe -- nuthin'!

WOLFE:

I have the Kent case.

CROSS:

The Kent case?

HALLECK:

That's a laugh. We're sittin' pretty. Sittin' pretty.

WOLFE:

You are not, sir. You imagine you possess legal immunity. Mr. Kent believes your grotesque balderdash and will not sue for fraud. Miss Kent cannot sue because she is reluctant to accuse her father of wrongfully obtaining her money. Ergo, you think you are invulnerable.

HALLECK:

Now, listen--

WOLFE:

But you forget me! I'm a detective with a fee to earn.

ARCHIE:

A big fee!

WOLFE:

Quiet, Archie. I am determined to get that fee. Therefore, as Miss Kent's agent, I can and will bring action against you. I'm indifferent to her tears or her father's disgrace. I'm indifferent to anything outside of money. You will return the ten thousand dollars to me at once, sir, or you will be in jail by morning!

CROSS:

You mean that?

WOLFE:

I do, Mr. Cross!

CROSS:

(BEAT) Halleck?

HALLECK:

Yeah?

CROSS:

Come here.

SFX:

BRIEF FOOTSTEPS, THEN CROSS AND HALLECK LOWER THEIR VOICES AND MUMBLE TO ONE ANOTHER

WOLFE:

(AFTER A MOMENT) Come on, hurry!

CROSS:

Uh, okay. Here, Mr. Wolfe. Halleck and I have decided we don't want to get in any trouble with you. Here's your ten grand.

ARCHIE:

Ah, let's have it.

SFX:

ARCHIE SNATCHES ENVELOPE ... RUSTLE OF PAPER MONEY

CROSS:

Give the dough to Kent, Mr. Wolfe, and get the letters and map back for us. You've got a reputation for bein' tricky, but honest, and we trust ya. Come on, Halleck, let's go.

HALLECK:

Yeah.

SFX:

CROSS AND HALLECK'S FOOTSTEPS TO OFFICE DOOR WHICH CLOSES

ARCHIE:

Ha ha! Well, how 'bout that?

WOLFE:

Preposterous.

ARCHIE:

No, sir! Take a look. Ten thousand dollars. Genuine coin of the realm.

WOLFE:

That man Cross is a fool. Does he imagine I am to be fooled so easily?

ARCHIE:

What do you mean? He left the money.

WOLFE:

He surrendered too quickly, Archie. Too easily. And that money in the envelope he was carrying -- all ready to refund. Why?!

ARCHIE:

Well, maybe he's got a better sucker. I heard him mention a Ben Sanford.

WOLFE:

Nonsense. Does he need Kent's forged letters and map to cheat this Ben Sanford? Couldn't he prepare another set?

ARCHIE:

I guess you're right. Something's fishy.

WOLFE:

In any event, it's no concern of mine, thank heaven.

ARCHIE:

Why not?

WOLFE:

I'm not committed to Miss Kent in any way. As a favor to you, I undertook to regain her money. I have done that. You may take it back to her and obtain the forged papers in return.

ARCHIE:

But, er--

WOLFE:

Silence, Mr. Goodwin. Go to your red-haired charmer. Leave me in peace. I intend to spend this afternoon with my New World Atlas.

MFX:

BRIDGE, THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ARCHIE:

(NARRATES) I left him three thousand miles up the Amazon with his magnifying glass, and drove up to East 69th Street. The Kent house was a broken-down little brownstone and as I went up the stoop... [X]

SFX:

ARCHIE'S FOOTSTEPS UP STOOP ... DOOR OPENS

ARCHIE:

(NARRATES) ... the door opened and Gloria Kent burst out like a skyrocket.

SFX:

GLORIA COLLIDES WITH ARCHIE

ARCHIE:

Hey, Miss Kent! Easy. Easy.

GLORIA:

(QUIETLY HYSTERICAL) Let go of me! Let go!

ARCHIE:

What's wrong? What's wrong?

GLORIA:

(DERANGED, IN SHOCK) Wrong? Wrong?! Nothing is wrong! Nothing at all!

ARCHIE:

Well, how about seeing your father?

GLORIA:

You want to see my father? Come inside!

SFX:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS THROUGH THE HOUSE IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

ARCHIE:

(SURPRISED) Well, for the love of heaven, what--?

GLORIA:

Come inside, Mr. Goodwin. I'll introduce you. He's in a back room. Come right through the living room.

ARCHIE:

What else came through this living room -- a hurricane?

GLORIA:

No, Mr. Goodwin. Something else.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

GLORIA:

There's my father, Mr. Goodwin.

ARCHIE:

What in the dev--?

SFX:

ARCHIE'S QUICK FOOTSTEPS TO THE BODY, THEN OUT FOR--

ARCHIE:

(PAUSE) He's dead. His throat's cut.

GLORIA:

(INCREASINGLY HYSTERICAL) Father, this is Archie Goodwin from Nero Wolfe's office. He and his boss refused to help while they could. Maybe he can help you now!

ARCHIE:

Stop it.

GLORIA:

All I'm good for now is revenge, that's all!

ARCHIE:

Stop it! Stop it and look at me! (QUIET) When did it happen?

GLORIA:

(SOBS, WEAKLY) I don't know.

ARCHIE:

When'd you find him?

GLORIA:

Just now.

ARCHIE:

Keep looking at me. Who went through this house like a hurricane? You?

GLORIA:

No.

ARCHIE:

Where did you go after you left the office?

GLORIA:

To the laboratory.

ARCHIE:

What lab?

GLORIA:

Document Research. The - the place that checked the map.

ARCHIE:

How long were you there?

GLORIA:

Until an hour ago. I was with Mr. Rodman.

ARCHIE:

Keep looking at me. And then?

GLORIA:

I had lunch.

ARCHIE:

With Rodman?

GLORIA:

Alone. And then I came home.

ARCHIE:

All right. All right. Now listen to me. I want you to go to Mr. Wolfe's house right now. Have you got cab fare?

GLORIA:

Yes.

ARCHIE:

All right, take a cab. I've got to stay here but I'll call Mr. Wolfe and tell him you're on the way. Now, get!

MFX:

BRIDGE, THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ARCHIE:

(NARRATES) I called Wolfe, told him everything, and he instructed me to advise Inspector Cramer, who arrived with the homicide squad. I gave the Inspector everything while the squad photographed and measured, print-dusted and detected. At three-thirty, Cramer took me back to the house on 35th Street for a fight with Wolfe. [X]

CRAMER:

It's a great story, Wolfe, great. Kent buys a phony treasure map. Everybody knows its phony except Kent. But Cross and Halleck try to buy it back and Kent gets himself murdered.

WOLFE:

Did you find the map and letters in the house, Inspector?

CRAMER:

No. No, I didn't.

WOLFE:

The killer was after the map.

CRAMER:

The phony map?

WOLFE:

Certainly.

CRAMER:

Why?

WOLFE:

Well, if we knew that, we would know why Cross and Halleck so willingly paid back the money and why Kent was murdered.

ARCHIE:

(SNAPS FINGERS) Maybe it's not phony!

CRAMER:

I'd better see the girl now.

WOLFE:

Oh, you fancy her for the murder?

CRAMER:

Well, I'll know after I ask a few questions.

WOLFE:

Tonight. She's had a shock, Mr. Cramer. She needs rest.

CRAMER:

Look, Wolfe, I want her!

WOLFE:

Why bother with her when there's no much to be done?

CRAMER:

Yeah? Such as?

WOLFE:

Cross and Halleck. Find them. And the mystery man they spoke of, Ben Sanford. He's the man you want now. Not this poor, overwrought girl.

CRAMER:

Well, all right. The girl'll be here for questioning tonight, though, huh?

WOLFE:

Tonight, Mr. Cramer.

SFX:

CRAMER'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY

CRAMER:

(MOVING OFF) Okay. You'll hear from me later on.

SFX:

OFFICE DOOR SHUTS

ARCHIE:

(AMUSED GIGGLE) Well, you buffaloed him out of that okay. Say, er, why don't you want her questioned? Is she guilty?

WOLFE:

I don't know.

ARCHIE:

Well, what did she say when she got here?

WOLFE:

She said nothing. She never arrived.

ARCHIE:

She never what?

WOLFE:

She never arrived.

ARCHIE:

Well, then why did you tell Cramer she was resting?

WOLFE:

Would he have believed the truth? Pfui. She must be found. More important, we must learn why forged letters and a forged map have produced this turmoil.

ARCHIE:

Find the killer and you find the map. You said so.

WOLFE:

I said the reverse, which is an altogether different statement. Archie, I want a photograph of that map. Get it.

ARCHIE:

Oh, sure. Sure. Any particular camera you want me to use?

WOLFE:

You'll find the photograph at 200 Vanderbilt Street.

ARCHIE:

Are you kidding?

WOLFE:

A lab cannot check the authenticity of old papers without photographing them in ultraviolet light, infrared light, and so on. If this document research lab has examined those papers, they will have photographs. Get them!

MFX:

BRIDGE, THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ARCHIE:

(NARRATES) He got out of his chair and waddled back to the house elevator. It was four o'clock and time for his regular afternoon session with the orchids. I drove down to the Document Research Laboratory on Vanderbilt and got such a shock that I grabbed the office phone and dialed Wolfe at once. [X]

SFX:

ROTARY DIAL ... RINGS TWICE, FILTERED ... PHONE ANSWERED

WOLFE:

(ON FILTER) This is Nero Wolfe.

ARCHIE:

Mr. Wolfe, Archie here.

WOLFE:

(FILTER) What's the matter, are you lost?

ARCHIE:

No, sir. No, sir, but I found something.

WOLFE:

(FILTER) Photographs?

ARCHIE:

No, Mr. Wolfe, I don't think you'll ever see any photographs of the Kent map. I don't think any were taken.

WOLFE:

(FILTER) Indeed.

ARCHIE:

But guess who runs the Document Research Laboratory? No. No, no, no, no, don't guess. You probably know. A man named Ben Sanford and he's sitting right here looking at me.

WOLFE:

(FILTER) Bring him home with you.

ARCHIE:

Home? But it's four in the afternoon. This is the sacred hour when you pray over your orchids.

WOLFE:

(FILTER) Then Mr. Sanford can join the ceremony.

MFX:

BRIDGE, THEN OUT

SFX:

ARCHIE AND SANFORD'S FOOTSTEPS THROUGH THE ORCHID ROOM ... CONTINUES IN BG, OUT AT "INTRODUCTION"

SANFORD:

(IMPRESSED) Hey, how about this place? How about it? There must be a million flowers up here.

ARCHIE:

(LAUGHS) No, not flowers. Orchids only. Mr. Wolfe has ten thousand plants.

SANFORD:

(WHISTLES) Never saw anything like it.

ARCHIE:

And you never will again, brother.

SANFORD:

Hey, what, er, what kind is that, on the bench?

ARCHIE:

Oh, that? That's our pride and joy, Odontoglossum harryanum. Above them, the Vanda peetersiana. And the pink ones are the Ceologyne panduratas. Now, the large object mulching flower pots is Nero Wolfe. (INTRODUCTION) Mr. Wolfe, Ben Sanford.

WOLFE:

Good afternoon, sir.

SANFORD:

(POLITE BUT SLIGHTLY DEFIANT) Hi. I came along to be obliging. I've got nothin' to say about anything.

WOLFE:

How much have you offered Cross and Halleck for their treasure map?

SANFORD:

No comment.

WOLFE:

Mr. Sanford, I'm going to make some assumptions. I assume that you are not in fact a document expert but an accessory to the fraud of Halleck and Cross.

SANFORD:

No comment.

WOLFE:

And that you actually prepare fraudulent maps for those swindlers -- and then, in the guise of an expert, guarantee their authenticity.

SANFORD:

No comment.

WOLFE:

But this you must answer. You did guarantee the authenticity of the map and letters Kent bought. It's on record.

SANFORD:

All right, I did.

WOLFE:

Then will you admit they were forged?

SANFORD:

What are you, a comic? No!

WOLFE:

You guarantee the value of the Kent map?

SANFORD:

Yes.

WOLFE:

As an expert?

SANFORD:

Yes.

WOLFE:

Then you've convicted yourself of murder.

SANFORD:

Murder? What is this?

WOLFE:

Mr. Kent was murdered, sir. Evidently for the map and letters he bought. But, of all persons involved, you alone believe in the value of the map. No one else does. Therefore, you alone would have murdered Kent for the map.

SANFORD:

Well, for the love of-- Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute!

ARCHIE:

(HIGHLY AMUSED) Heh, heh! Chew it over, brother. Chew it over. Either way he's got you.

SANFORD:

Okay. Okay, you - you want me to level? Here it is.

WOLFE:

"Level," Archie?

ARCHIE:

Okay, boss. Thief-type talk. It means "tell the truth."

SANFORD:

It's like you say. The letters were bought from Rodman. I forged the map and evidence on to them. I guaranteed them to Kent. It was a swindle.

WOLFE:

The letters are without value?

SANFORD:

Oh, sure, they're old -- that's all. From 1851. Just tired family gossip and stuff.

WOLFE:

Indeed. Here we have the problem again, Archie. Mr. Kent is swindled with a map and letters that are known to be worthless. He alone believes the fantasy of the treasure.

SANFORD:

There isn't any treasure. Never was.

WOLFE:

Yet Cross and Halleck refunded the swindled money so eagerly. It is obvious they want those worthless documents back badly. Someone else wants them so bad he murders Mr. Kent. Why?

ARCHIE:

I don't know.

WOLFE:

Archie, we must find the girl. There's a chance she turned to Mr. Rodman for refuge. I'm sorry, you'll have to go there at once. If the girl isn't there, bring Rodman.

MFX:

BRIDGE, THEN OUT

SFX:

DOOR BELL BUZZES TWICE ... DOOR OPENS

RODMAN:

Yes?

ARCHIE:

Hello, Rodman. Remember me? I'm Archie Goodwin from Nero Wolfe's office.

RODMAN:

Oh! Oh, yes, of course.

ARCHIE:

I came to get Gloria Kent. There's been a change in plans. Tell her to come out, please.

RODMAN:

Gloria? Well, she's not here. Why should she be?

ARCHIE:

Haven't you heard?

RODMAN:

Heard what?

ARCHIE:

Well, I guess you'd better come down and see Wolfe.

RODMAN:

Ah, Mr. Goodwin, I'm afraid I can't. I'm rather busy.

ARCHIE:

Look, Rodman, maybe you ought to know. Old man Kent was murdered.

RODMAN:

Wha--? What?

ARCHIE:

Yes. Yes, just after you and Gloria left us.

RODMAN:

Kent murdered? Well, uh-- Well, this is awful, Mr. Goodwin. It's--

ARCHIE:

You want to see Mr. Wolfe now? Get your hat.

RODMAN:

Murdered? Oh, believe me, I never wanted this. I - I'm going to tell Nero Wolfe the whole mess -- every word of it.

ARCHIE:

Okay, then. Come on, let's go.

RODMAN:

Yes, of course, just a minute, I'll get my hat, in the bedroom.

SFX:

RODMAN'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY

RODMAN:

(MOVING OFF, MUTTERING) Murdered? Kent? I never dreamed.

SFX:

BEDROOM DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES, OFF

ARCHIE:

(SIGHS, PAUSE, WHISTLES A TUNE BRIEFLY) Come on, Rodman. (CALLS) Come on, Rodman! Come on!

RODMAN:

(OFF, MUFFLED GURGLE)

ARCHIE:

What?! I didn't hear you! (PAUSE, SIGHS, TO HIMSELF) Oh, Rodman.

SFX:

ARCHIE'S FOOTSTEPS CASUALLY TO BEDROOM DOOR WHICH OPENS

ARCHIE:

What the--?

RODMAN:

(CHOKES, GURGLES)

ARCHIE:

(WHISPERED HORROR) Rodman!

SFX:

ARCHIE'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS TO RODMAN WHO EXPIRES ... PAUSE ... ARCHIE'S FOOTSTEPS TO PHONE ... RECEIVER UP, ROTARY DIALING BEHIND--

ARCHIE:

(UNNERVED) Oh, Rodman. Good lord, what next?

SFX:

PHONE RINGS TWICE, FILTERED

ARCHIE:

(TO HIMSELF) Come on, come on.

SFX:

PHONE ANSWERED

WOLFE:

(FILTER) This is Nero Wolfe.

ARCHIE:

Archie here. We've had a tough break.

WOLFE:

(FILTER) Yes?

ARCHIE:

While I was waiting for Rodman at the front door, he went into the bedroom for his hat. The killer was there.

WOLFE:

(FILTER) How do you know?

ARCHIE:

He cut Rodman's throat.

WOLFE:

(FILTER) Tail him?

ARCHIE:

The back window is open. It's a ground floor apartment. He was out and gone before I had a chance!

WOLFE:

(FILTER) Archie, where were your wits?

ARCHIE:

Let me alone! I've had a man murdered twenty feet from me. You think I'm cheering?

WOLFE:

(FILTER) Mr. Cramer is here and he has news for us, Archie. He could not locate Cross and Halleck in their apartment. They had not been home all day. The maid informed him that she was waiting for her weekly salary.

ARCHIE:

Well, so what?

WOLFE:

(FILTER) She was most angry, and - (A SLY HINT) peppery, Mr. Cramer informs me.

ARCHIE:

(CATCHES THE HINT) Red pepper?

WOLFE:

(FILTER) Exactly.

ARCHIE:

Okay. Okay, maybe I know what you mean. I'll try to deliver the goods this time. Goodbye.

MFX:

BRIDGE, THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ARCHIE:

(NARRATES) I drove down to the apartment house on Gramercy Square where Cross and Halleck lived, took the elevator up to the tenth floor, found the right door, and slipped in with a passkey. [X]

SFX:

DOOR UNLOCKS, OPENS AND CLOSES ... ARCHIE'S FOOTSTEPS IN

ARCHIE:

Come on out. Come out, wherever you are. I know you're in here. You fooled Cramer pretending to be the maid but you didn't fool Wolfe. You'd better--

SFX:

BANG! GUNSHOT

ARCHIE:

Gloria!

SFX:

BANG! BANG! BANG!

ARCHIE:

Cut it out, you idiot! Lay off.

SFX:

ARCHIE GRABS GLORIA ... STRUGGLE ... CONTINUES IN BG

GLORIA:

No!

ARCHIE:

Archie! Archie you dope! Archie Goodwin from Nero Wolfe's office. Remember me?

GLORIA:

Let me go!

ARCHIE:

Give me the gun, Gloria. (WITH EFFORT) Give it - to me!

GLORIA:

(EXHALES, MOANS AS GUN IS WRESTED AWAY)

SFX:

GUN TOSSED AWAY

ARCHIE:

Yeah, that's right.

GLORIA:

(SIGHS, CATCHES HER BREATH)

ARCHIE:

Who, uh, who did you think I was?

GLORIA:

Halleck. (SOBS, CONTINUES IN BG)

ARCHIE:

Oh, brilliant. So Wolfe figured you out, huh? Well, you are a brave girl. They killed your father. You came up here and waited for them. You were going to kill them right back, huh? Oh, that red-headed temper. And you bluffed Cramer into thinking you were the maid!

GLORIA:

(TEARFUL) I had to do something. It was the only thing I could think of -- to come here and kill them.

ARCHIE:

(GENTLY) Well, you're coming home with Archie. And just remember one thing. When Wolfe's working for you, don't try to do any thinking. It only gets in Wolfe's way.

MFX:

BRIDGE, THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ARCHIE:

(NARRATES) I got Gloria Kent back to the house at seven o'clock. I parked the car, brought her into the office and got the shock of my life. There was a convention on! Wolfe was there, with Inspector Cramer representing the cops. Cross, Halleck and Sanford were there, representing the crooks. When Cramer saw Gloria, he scowled first at her and then at Wolfe. [X]

CRAMER:

(SIGHS) So it was a slick one after all, Wolfe. You didn't have the girl. You had no intention of producing her.

WOLFE:

Please, Mr. Cramer, that can wait. There are other matters more important. I dine at eight. That leaves me one hour to solve your murders.

CRAMER:

Murders? More than one?

ARCHIE:

Yes, two. Elmer Rodman.

CRAMER:

By heaven, Goodwin, if you--

WOLFE:

Please, Mr. Cramer, not now. First, Miss Kent. Good evening, Miss Kent. I presume you have met these gentlemen, Cross, Halleck and Sanford?

GLORIA:

I-- I--

WOLFE:

Here, I'll take your purse please.

GLORIA:

(GASPS) But why? I--

WOLFE:

Don't think me as naive as Mr. Goodwin, miss. When you left your home after the murder of your father, you took the map and letters with you. They're in your purse now!

GLORIA:

But that's not true.

WOLFE:

Archie, the purse.

SFX:

ARCHIE'S FOOTSTEPS AS HE HANDS OVER THE PURSE

WOLFE:

Thank you. We have here an interesting situation. There exists some old letters and map, forged and fraudulent. But they're worth ten thousand dollars and more to Cross and Halleck and worth two murders to a killer. Why? There must be something of great value in the letters.

CRAMER:

Yeah, such as?

WOLFE:

Something which Mr. Sanford could not see although he worked on the document closely. Yet something which could be made manifest. What is the answer, Miss Kent? You know it!

GLORIA:

I swear I don't!

WOLFE:

Secret writing, Archie. Bring the chafing dish from the dining room.

ARCHIE:

Right.

SFX:

ARCHIE'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY

HALLECK:

Secret writing?

SANFORD:

I saw nothin' when I worked on those letters.

WOLFE:

Naturally, Mr. Sanford. The writing is invisible. But heat is an agent. Makes most forms of secret writing visible.

SFX:

ARCHIE'S FOOTSTEPS RETURN

ARCHIE:

The chafing dish, boss.

WOLFE:

Thank you, Archie. Place it before me and light it.

ARCHIE:

Right.

SFX:

CLICK OF CIGARETTE LIGHTER

WOLFE:

Now, I open Miss Kent's purse. From it, you see, I withdraw these ancient letters which she took from her house after her father's murder.

GLORIA:

That's not true!

WOLFE:

Archie--

ARCHIE:

(QUIETLY) That's enough, Gloria. That's enough. From now on, you just listen.

WOLFE:

We remove the letters from the envelope and toast them gently.

SFX:

PAPERS RUSTLE IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

WOLFE:

Secret ink, vintage 1851, will easily succumb to the agency of heat.

HALLECK:

(NERVOUS) Careful! Those envelopes'll catch fire!

CROSS:

(UPSET) Hey, hey, hey! They've caught!

WOLFE:

Don't be upset, Mr. Cross, Mr. Halleck.

CROSS:

The envelopes!

WOLFE:

They will burn safely in the dish. We can concentrate on the writing. Watch closely. I don't want to be accused of trickery.

CROSS:

You fat fool! The envelopes are everything!

HALLECK:

Put 'em out, Sanford! Don't sit there! Put 'em out!

WOLFE:

(SHARPLY) Why, Mr. Halleck?

HALLECK:

Well, the stamps! The missionaries! They're worth a fortune!

WOLFE:

(REALIZES) The missionaries. Of course. You know that. Mr. Cross knows. So does Mr. Sanford, right?

CROSS:

Yeah, yeah.

HALLECK:

Of course Sanford knows, you old fool. Let me--

SFX:

SHARP OOHs AND OHs AS CROSS AND HALLECK BURN THEIR FINGERS TRYING TO RESCUE THE ENVELOPES ... CONTINUES IN BG

WOLFE:

Mr. Sanford is not alarmed. Why not, sir?

SANFORD:

(PLAYING DUMB) I don't know what you're talkin' about.

WOLFE:

Fifty or a hundred thousand dollars is burning before your eyes, Mr. Sanford. Cross and Halleck are burning their fingers putting out the flaming envelopes. And you sit there quite indifferently. Why?

SANFORD:

Well, I--

WOLFE:

You know the value of the missionary stamps on the letters you bought from Rodman. But you know these aren't the real letters. Isn't that it?

CROSS:

Not the real letters?

SANFORD:

I told you I'm tough to crack, Wolfe. You didn't fool me with those dummies.

WOLFE:

Dummies? How do you know? Mr. Cross didn't know. Mr. Halleck didn't know. How did you?

SANFORD:

Well, I--

WOLFE:

I'll tell you, sir. Only one man could know I was framing Miss Kent as a decoy. Only one man could know I prepared these dummy letters and pretended to take them from her purse. And that is the killer! The man who murdered her father and stole the map and letters this morning. You sir, Mr. Sanford!

ARCHIE:

(IMPRESSED) Well, I'll be--

WOLFE:

Mr. Cramer? There's your killer. You'll find the missing map and letters on him or concealed in his home or office. You won't need the evidence anyway. Look at his face. He's self-confessed.

ARCHIE:

(AMUSED) Self-confessed, like fun! He was booby-trapped.

MFX:

BRIDGE, THEN OUT

WOLFE:

No, Mr. Cramer. Not a complicated case, really. Very simple. Elmer Rodman sold a packet of old family letters to the swindlers for a small sum. They used the letters to perpetrate their fraud on Miss Kent's father.

GLORIA:

And the stamps on the letters were valuable?

WOLFE:

They were a special Hawaiian issue, 1851, Miss Kent. Nicknamed "missionaries" because missionaries used them for writing home. They're extremely rare stamps worth upward of twenty-five thousand dollars each.

CRAMER:

Hey, no wonder they were worth two murders. We found five of them on Sanford.

WOLFE:

Excellent. Somewhere or other Rodman discovered the value of the stamps after he sold the letters. In his effort to get them back, he communicated his discovery to the swindlers, Cross, Halleck and Sanford.

ARCHIE:

So that's why they refunded the money so fast.

WOLFE:

Precisely -- in an effort to have the sale rescinded. Rodman sought out Kent and tried to convince him of the fraud. Alas, he would not listen to the truth, Mr. Cramer.

CRAMER:

Oh, I get it. And while the others were hasslin' around, Sanford tried to steal a march and quietly resorted to murder.

WOLFE:

And there you have it.

ARCHIE:

Ha ha! Great job, boss, great job. So Gloria not only gets her ten grand back but, uh - (DOING THE MATH) - five times twenty-five which is about a hundred and twenty-five thousand worth of goodies. Now, figuring your rates by the hour, that means you've done a gratis job worth about, um--

WOLFE:

Miss Kent, I did not, nor will I, demand a large fee for what I have done. I will not go back on my word. But I can beg for a favor.

GLORIA:

I'll only be too happy to--

WOLFE:

Wait, wait, wait. I ask something that will not be easy to grant.

GLORIA:

What is it?

WOLFE:

Will you use your red hair, your pretty face, your admirable figure and your ample fortune to lure Mr. Goodwin away from this house tonight? I would like to enjoy my dinner in peace.

GLORIA:

That won't be difficult, Mr. Wolfe.

ARCHIE:

(LAUGHS) Let's have an understanding right now, Gloria. Difficult for you -- or for me?

GLORIA:

I'll be delighted.

ARCHIE:

(LAUGHS)

WOLFE:

Indeed. To spend an evening with Mr. Goodwin, there is only one word for you, Miss Kent. Intrepid!

MFX:

TO A FINISH, THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNOUNCER:

You have been listening to "The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe," starring Sydney Greenstreet. Tonight's story by Alfred Bester was based on the famous characters created by Rex Stout, produced by Edwin Fadiman and directed by J. Donald Wilson. In the cast were Wally Maher as Archie Goodwin and Jeanne Bates, Howard McNear, Jay Novello, Larry Dobkin, Bill Johnstone and Herb Vigran. Music by Joseph Enos. Next week at this same time, Nero Wolfe and Archie will bring you "The Case of the Careworn Cuff." Don Stanley speaking. [X]

NBC ANNCR:

The preceding was transcribed. Three Chimes Mean Good Times on NBC. The Chimes ring for Dennis Day and Judy Canova tomorrow night on NBC. Also, Judy Canova prepares to go operatic tomorrow because her special guest is Ezio Pinza.

RILEY:

This is Chester "William Bendix" Riley. "The Man Called X" follows on NBC.

SFX:

NBC CHIMES