Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Fleischmann's Yeast Hour
Show: The Church Mouse
Date: Dec 19 1935

CAST:
HOST, Rudy Vallee
ANNOUNCER
SUSIE
SCHUYLER (pronounced SKY-ler)

HOST:

... The arrival of Miss Una Merkel from Hollywood and Mr. Conrad Nagel from London on the same day enables us to present them both tonight in a short play based on the first act of the famous Broadway success, "The Church Mouse."

New York playgoers will recall with affection Miss Merkel's gorgeously featherbrained Southern girl in "Coquette." Since then, Hollywood has made abundant and sensible use of her comedy talent, most recently in M-G-M's "Broadway Melody."

By coincidence, Mr. Nagel's most recent film, "One Night in New York," also featured Miss Merkel. For the past few months, he has been making pictures in the English studios. We introduce Una Merkel and Conrad Nagel in "The Church Mouse."

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

Time -- the present. Place -- the Wall Street office of Schuyler Thompson, who has made himself president of an international banking firm at the age of thirty-five. Though he's a genius for finance, Schuyler is also human and has human weaknesses. In fact, he is so human that this morning he has had to dismiss his pretty secretary, Dolly Fry, simply because she distracts him from his work. "Girls like you are for the evening," he tells Dolly, "They've no place in a bank. No more women in my office from now on!" But, after an hour, the door behind him swings noiselessly open and a tiny girl -- pale, shabbily dressed, and looking thoroughly frightened -- squeezes into the room. She tiptoes to Schuyler's desk, waits for him to look up, and finally she speaks--

SUSIE:

(VERY MEEK) Good morning. May I come--?

SCHUYLER:

Who are you?

SUSIE:

I-- I--

SCHUYLER:

How did you get in here?

SUSIE:

I waited until the man at the door turned his back for a second and then I slid through.

SCHUYLER:

Well, why did you want to see me?

SUSIE:

Because you're the president of the bank. Oh, you are, aren't you? You're Mr. Schuyler Thompson?

SCHUYLER:

Yes, I am. And who are you?

SUSIE:

Susie Wayne. Just nobody at all, but I had to see ya. May I sit down?

SCHUYLER:

Yes, yes, yes. But be brief.

SUSIE:

I'm a stenographer; I want a position.

SCHUYLER:

What?

SUSIE:

Oh, please give me a job.

SCHUYLER:

Well, I'm sorry, but you've come to the wrong place. I discharged my secretary this morning and I intend to engage a man. That's all.

SUSIE:

You - you mean that I'm to go?

SCHUYLER:

Certainly I do. You've already taken up a great deal of my time.

SUSIE:

Oh, I know, and I'm very sorry for that. (SUMMONS HER COURAGE) But I'm not going.

SCHUYLER:

What?

SUSIE:

Oh, I can't give up so easily. It'd be cowardly. (READY TO CRY) I might cry and try to work on your feelings, but I won't cry! Why, this very morning the President of the United States is holding an investigation of my affairs.

SCHUYLER:

An investigation of your affairs? What do you mean?

SOUND:

NEWSPAPER UNFOLDED BEHIND--

SUSIE:

Well, here. Here it is. In the Times. (READS) "An investigation of the problems of the unemployed." (TO SCHUYLER) I am that problem. I-- I am the unemployed.

SCHUYLER:

(CHUCKLES) Why, yes. Yes, I suppose you are.

SUSIE:

But if the President doesn't solve my problem by noon, we won't have anything to eat today. And nothing tonight. Or tomorrow morning, either.

SCHUYLER:

Why-- Why, that's unbelievable.

SUSIE:

Well, why should you be surprised? I've already told you I'm poor. I'm as poor as a church mouse.

SCHUYLER:

Are you serious when you tell me that you're often - hungry?

SUSIE:

Hungry! That doesn't describe it. I belong to the poor who press their noses against windows. You've seen girls look in windows, haven't you?

SCHUYLER:

Yes, at jewelry.

SUSIE:

Well, I'm a delicatessen-looker. ... I flatten my nose against a show window and imagine I'm eating.

SCHUYLER:

Why, you poor child.

SUSIE:

For lunch, I look at frankfurters and potato salad. Then comes dinner.

SCHUYLER:

Oh, dinner?

SUSIE:

Well, dinner isn't so simple. I take a sardine and divide it.

SCHUYLER:

You divide a sardine?

SUSIE:

Yes! The tail is the appetizer. While I eat that, I look at trout and salmon. Then I turn my attention to the roast beef or to fried chicken. In the meantime, I've eaten two-thirds of the sardine. I divide the rest into small bits. You know, a little fruit, a little cheese.

SCHUYLER:

And you want to work?

SUSIE:

Work?! Oh, I'll say I do. (QUICKLY) Look, Mr. Thompson, there's an empty table and a wonderful typewriter. It's such a temptation. Oh, let me sit down and use it. You won't be sorry because once I get hold of a machine like this, the work'll fly! Dictate to me! Please dictate to me!

SOUND:

DURING THE ABOVE, SHE HAS SAT AT THE TYPEWRITER AND INSERTED A SHEET OF PAPER IN THE ROLL

SCHUYLER:

All right. Take this.

SOUND:

RAPID CLACK-CLACK-CLACK OF TYPEWRITER, FASTER AND FASTER, IN BG, DURING FOLLOWING--

SCHUYLER:

(DICTATES) "Directors, General Oil Importing Company, Vienna. Gentlemen, at this time I can inform you--"

SUSIE:

Faster, please!

SCHUYLER:

(DICTATES, FASTER) "--that the negotiations of the various European oil concerns--"

SUSIE:

Faster yet!

SCHUYLER:

(DICTATES, EVEN FASTER) "--have been so successful as to practically assure my great project after the fulfillment of the usual legal requirements."

SUSIE:

Faster, much faster!

SCHUYLER:

(DICTATES, ALMOST INCOMPREHENSIBLY FAST) "This transaction which we consider of greatest importance to the industry can be completed on the twenty-fourth of this month in the city of Paris. Very truly yours."

SUSIE:

(IMMEDIATELY) Done!

SOUND:

TYPEWRITER STOPS ... SHEET OF PAPER PULLED OUT AND HANDED TO SCHUYLER

SCHUYLER:

(STUNNED) Well, of all the amazing--

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS ... PICKED UP BEFORE FIRST RING HAS ENDED

SUSIE:

(INTO PHONE) Hello? ... Yes, this is the office of the president. ... You'd like to speak to Mr. Thompson personally? I'm sorry, Mr. Thompson isn't in just now.

SOUND:

RECEIVER DOWN

SCHUYLER:

What? You told them I wasn't in?

SUSIE:

It was the safest thing to say.

SCHUYLER:

Well, may I ask how you presumed to reach that conclusion?

SUSIE:

It was a woman's voice.

SCHUYLER:

(LAUGHS) Remarkable!

SUSIE:

Now, Mr. Thompson, isn't it time to sign your mail?

SCHUYLER:

Yes. Better get that done.

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS ... PICKED UP BEFORE FIRST RING HAS ENDED

SUSIE:

(INTO PHONE) Hello? ... Oh, yes, just a minute. (TO SCHUYLER) Will you speak to Mr. Frank Thompson?

SCHUYLER:

Oh, my brother. Yes, I'm to have lunch with him. (INTO PHONE) Hello, Frank, I'll be right with you.

SUSIE:

(GENTLE ADMONISHMENT) Oh - oh - oh, Mr. Thompson.

SCHUYLER:

(INTO PHONE, AMUSED) Uh, wait a minute. This young lady here won't let me go till I've signed my mail. She's a human dynamo. ... No. No, she's not Miss Fry, of course not. But the young lady who answered my telephone is, um ---- is my new secretary.

SUSIE:

(ALMOST A GASP) Oh.

SCHUYLER:

(INTO PHONE) Yes, I'll be right out.

SOUND:

RECEIVER DOWN

SUSIE:

Oh, you mean it? You are going to let me--?

SCHUYLER:

That's taken for granted. (LIGHTLY) But I wonder if you'd mind, just for today, if I have my lunch first and sign the mail afterwards.

SUSIE:

Well, all right. But just for today.

SCHUYLER:

Thank you. Well, see you later, Miss Wayne. Ooh, I almost forgot. How could I have overlooked such an important matter? Miss Wayne, I'm pleased to hand you a ten dollar advance on your salary.

SUSIE:

Oh, Mr. Thompson! You're so kind. I wonder if I--

SCHUYLER:

(BEAT) What is it?

SUSIE:

I would like to make a very important telephone call.

SCHUYLER:

Oh, go right ahead; I'll leave you to yourself.

SUSIE:

Oh, but I didn't mean that; it's not so very private. You'll see.

SOUND:

RECEIVER UP

SUSIE:

(INTO PHONE) Atlantic One-one-seven-five-one, please.

SCHUYLER:

Sure this isn't personal?

SUSIE:

Oh, no, no. You'll see.

MUSIC:

A QUIET BUT BRISK "HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN," IN BG

SUSIE:

(INTO PHONE) The Thrifty Market? Mr. Marx, this is Susie Wayne. Will you please send some things up to my mother at once? Five pounds of flour. Five pounds of sugar. One pound of coffee; the best! And six eggs. No! A dozen eggs. Two pounds of butter. No, one pound -- I mustn't spend too much.

SCHUYLER:

The salary will be thirty dollars.

SUSIE:

Thiry doll--?! (INTO PHONE) Six cans of sardines! ... And a half-pound of chocolate. And a few frankfurters. ... (UNCERTAIN) The big ones? Well--

SCHUYLER:

Yes, yes, of course, the biggest.

SUSIE:

(INTO PHONE, PLEASED) Yes, yes, the biggest. And would you kindly tell my mother to get dinner ready? ... What? (CHUCKLES) Oh, no. No. I couldn't afford a chicken.

SCHUYLER:

Uh, wait a minute, I was wrong. I mean, the salary will be forty dollars.

SUSIE:

(INTO PHONE, OVERJOYED) Oh, yes, Mr. Marx! Yes! A chicken! A big one! A fat one! And please tell my mother that I have a job -- a wonderful job. And tonight she'll have a dinner -- and what a dinner! Oh, tell her to cook everything! I want it all at once! Mr. Marx, I've just got a wonderful job -- a wonderful job!

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A FINISH

SOUND:

APPLAUSE ...