Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Front Page Drama
Show: The Devil's Daughter
Date: Jan 11 1934

Image from the American Weekly
CAST:
ANNOUNCER
GUIDE
DIANA BERKELEY (pronounced BARK-lee)
CHARLES
AL-ZAK
SEKHMET, the Devil's Daughter
and a crowd of TOURISTS

MUSIC:

FANFARE

ANNOUNCER:

Today's FRONT PAGE DRAMA offers "The Devil's Daughter," featuring Miss Sheila Hayes in the role of Diana Berkeley. This is the second in a series of FRONT PAGE DRAMAS adapted from the pages of the American Weekly, the magazine distributed with all Hearst Sunday newspapers from coast to coast. "The Devil's Daughter" was produced in the New York studios of the General Broadcasting Company.

MUSIC:

FAUX MIDDLE EASTERN, FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN FADES OUT BEHIND--

GUIDE:

This way, ladies and gentlemen. This way, if you please.

BIZ:

WALLA OF TOURISTS AS THEY FILE INTO TEMPLE ... THEY MURMUR APPROPRIATELY (WITH SKEPTICISM, INTEREST, AWE, ET CETERA) DURING THE GUIDE'S SPEECH

GUIDE:

You are now standing in the temple of Sekhmet, the Egyptian goddess of destruction. Directly in front of you is the statue of the goddess. It is made of granite and stone. It stands ten feet high. The number of hours of labor consumed in its erection is unknown.

I respectfully call to your attention the slim, feminine upright body with the lion's head. Sekhmet is known as a hater of children and all weak things. It is whispered that although she descends from a long line of Kings, her mother was a witch and a wanton despite her being a Queen, and Sekhmet's father was the Devil himself.

I ask you to look up there, at that little square hole in the roof. According to tradition, when the moonlight illuminates the statue, it has the greatest occult power.

DIANA:

(TO HERSELF) Isn't she fascinating? (CALLS) Oh, guide?!

GUIDE:

Madam?

DIANA:

Could I, or could anyone, spend the night here to see the goddess demonstrate her power?

GUIDE:

I am very sorry to disappoint madam, but that is not to be permitted. I do not wish to alarm you, but reports have been made to the authorities of strange happenings to those who have dared to remain here all night.

DIANA:

Strange happenings? Why, what do you mean?

GUIDE:

People have been known to have lost their minds, madam.

DIANA:

(SHIVERS) Ooh, good heavens. How terrible.

GUIDE:

Now, if the ladies and gentlemen of my party will return to the cars, we shall proceed to [?]. This concludes the tour of Karnak, the city of the dead.

BIZ:

WALLA OF TOURISTS AS THEY FILE OUT OF THE TEMPLE

DIANA:

(AMUSED, TO HERSELF) No one is allowed to stay in the temple, eh? But I'm going to. I'll spend a night with the Devil's daughter!

MUSIC:

FAUX MIDDLE EASTERN, FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN FADES OUT BEHIND--

ANNOUNCER:

And so, because one strong-willed woman was determined to defy Oriental superstition and early legend, the American Weekly is able to print another thrilling story from real life which the American Theater of Radio now presents to you under the title of "The Devil's Daughter."

It is the witching hour of midnight. Two figures stand before the sacred shrine of Sekhmet, the Egyptian goddess. Listen--

CHARLES:

Diana, please--

DIANA:

No, it's no use, Charles. I tell you, I'm going to spend the night in there.

CHARLES:

Now, Diana, listen to reason, won't you?

DIANA:

Reason? Why, you haven't given me one sane excuse for not going through with it.

CHARLES:

Very well, I'll give you an illustration. You remember when Sir Reginald Wilton was stationed out here in Luxor, how he came back before his time was half up -- and without his wife?

DIANA:

Yes, I remember. She died while he was here.

CHARLES:

Did you ever hear how she died?

DIANA:

No.

CHARLES:

Well, she had the idea of staying in the temple all night. And so she did. She dressed in her finest gown and she wore her most beautiful emeralds. They came for her next morning--

DIANA:

And found her dead, I suppose.

CHARLES:

No. Not dead.

DIANA:

What do you mean, Charles?

CHARLES:

They found her groveling before the statue of the goddess, offering her jewels -- completely insane.

DIANA:

(SYMPATHETIC) Oh. Oh, no.

CHARLES:

It's a fact.

DIANA:

Well, of course, that's awful, but Lady Wilton was the type to fly off the handle anyway -- and I'm not!

CHARLES:

The goddess is said to have her revenge in other ways.

DIANA:

For example?

CHARLES:

Well, last year, Cliam Drummond had a go at it.

DIANA:

Well, he's still alive and in his right mind.

CHARLES:

Oh, yes, Cliam came through it without any harm to himself. But the very next day --- now, mark this, Diana -- the very next day, his two children, the only two things on earth he loved, were killed in a motor smash in England.

DIANA:

(EXHALES IN SYMPATHY) The poor man.

CHARLES:

And he hasn't been the same since. Gets terrible spells of black melancholy.

DIANA:

Oh, I'll admit tragedy hit right on the heels of his night in the temple, Charles. Yeah, but how can you prove that it had anything to do with it? His children might have been killed anyway.

CHARLES:

You can't make anybody out here see it that way, Diana. Oh, now, look here. You're a very pretty girl.

DIANA:

(CHUCKLES)

CHARLES:

You've everything in life to live for. You're only out here on a holiday. After all, why tempt fate foolishly?

DIANA:

Oh, I've never been afraid of anything yet, Charles--

CHARLES:

Yes, but--

DIANA:

And I'm not going to let some old girl who's been dead thousands of years have the laugh on me.

CHARLES:

Well, for my part, I'd much rather that some old girl who'd been dead thousands of years should have the laugh on me than have all my living friends and relatives weeping at my grave.

DIANA:

Oh, now, look here. You've tried to scare me out of staying here and it didn't work, and sarcasm isn't going to work either.

CHARLES:

Yes, but--

DIANA:

No, Charles, no. Just as soon as Al-Zak arrives with my blankets, in I go.

CHARLES:

And nothing I can say will make you change your mind?

DIANA:

Nothing.

CHARLES:

Not even -- when I say I love you?

DIANA:

(BEAT) Why, Charles, I didn't dream that-- You never said that--

CHARLES:

No, I never said anything about it before, Diana, because-- Oh, well, never mind that now. But it's true. I do love you. And I love you too much to let you tempt fate like this. Oh, please, please, give up the idea.

DIANA:

You make it very hard for me, Charles. But I've never given up anything in my life once I started it.

CHARLES:

But why? Why start anything as dangerous as this?

DIANA:

Dangerous? Oh, no, come now. Aren't you letting these Eastern legends get to you a little bit?

CHARLES:

I don't laugh at her any longer, Diana.

DIANA:

Her?

CHARLES:

The Devil's daughter. She'll hurt you somehow, I feel sure of it.

DIANA:

Oh, nonsense, Charles. Oh, here comes Al-Zak with my blankets.

CHARLES:

Diana -- Diana, I beg of you not to go in here tonight.

AL-ZAK:

Your blankets, madam.

DIANA:

Ah, thank you, Al-Zak. Will you put them at the feet of the statue?

AL-ZAK:

(UNEASY) In there?

DIANA:

Why, of course.

AL-ZAK:

But, madam, it is not permitted.

DIANA:

Now, no one's to ever know about it but we three.

AL-ZAK:

(TO CHARLES) Oh, effendi, do not let madam go into the temple. Something terrible will happen.

CHARLES:

I've tried to tell her that already, Al-Zak. But madam will not believe me. (ONE LAST TRY) Oh, Diana, please--

DIANA:

Oh, please, Charles, please -- I'm going in. Now, nothing can possibly hurt me. Come along, Al-Zak. I'll show you exactly where I want the blankets.

AL-ZAK:

Yes, but don't you think, madam--?

DIANA:

Will you leave your lantern outside?

SOUND:

TRANSITION ... STILL CONVERSING, DIANA, CHARLES AND AL-ZAK ENTER THE TEMPLE WHERE AN ECHO BRIEFLY DISTORTS THEIR VOICES AND MAKES THEM MOMENTARILY INDECIPHERABLE ... THE EFFECT SHOULD BE AS IF THEY WERE PASSING THROUGH A TUNNEL TO EMERGE INTO THE TEMPLE'S INTERIOR ... THEN, WITH CLARITY--

AL-ZAK:

Be careful, madam.

DIANA:

All right.

AL-ZAK:

I should have brought the lantern.

DIANA:

Oh, it's all right. My eyes will get accustomed to the dark in a moment. (GASPS) Oh!

CHARLES:

What's the matter? What's the matter, Diana?

DIANA:

Something flew past my face and startled me for a moment, that's all.

CHARLES:

Well, the place is full of bats. Diana, please--

DIANA:

(DISMISSIVE) Oh, now. (PLEASED) There she is. Your goddess. With the moonlight streaming down on her, how cruel she looks.

CHARLES:

She is cruel. Remember, Diana, you're defying the goddess of destruction.

DIANA:

(DISMISSIVE, BRISK) Oh, Charles. Will you put the blankets here, Al-Zak?

AL-ZAK:

As madam wishes.

DIANA:

Thank you. And now you may go, both of you.

CHARLES:

You won't let me stay with you?

DIANA:

Oh, Charles, please, don't. I'd rather speak to her alone, like the others.

CHARLES:

Well, look here. Take my automatic. You may need it.

DIANA:

(AMUSED) Oh, no. It's useless to face the Unknown with firearms.

CHARLES:

Then I shall camp just outside the doorway. I'll come in on the double if I hear anything in here.

DIANA:

Thank you, Charles.

CHARLES:

(MOVING OFF) All right. Come along, Al-Zak.

AL-ZAK:

(MOVING OFF) I am with you, effendi.

SOUND:

CHARLES AND AL-ZAK'S VOICES CONTINUE INTO TUNNEL ECHO AND FADE OUT BEHIND--

DIANA:

(A SATISFIED SIGH) Well! (CHUCKLE) Now, here I am, Sekhmet. I wonder what you're going to do to me. You drove Lady Wilton mad and you killed Cliam Drummond's children because you hated his strength and indifference. Well, Devil's daughter, I have nothing to offer you. No jewels and no children. How are you going to hurt me, I wonder.

CHARLES:

(APPROACHES) Diana? Diana?

DIANA:

Yes, Charles?

CHARLES:

Are you all right? I - I thought I heard voices!

DIANA:

I'm quite all right. I was talking to Her Majesty here. 'Twas my voice you heard.

CHARLES:

Oh, thank heavens. I say, er, don't you want the lantern in here with you?

DIANA:

No, no, no thanks. It would spoil everything.

CHARLES:

Oh, very well. I'll trot back to my post. (MOVING OFF) I'll come when you call, remember.

DIANA:

(CALLS AFTER HIM, CHEERFULLY) I'll remember! (CHUCKLES, BEAT) Well, Sekhmet -- why don't you start something? (NO ANSWER)

Very well. I can wait as long as you. (CHUCKLES)

So, your mother was a Queen, Sekhmet. Hm! Did she have a lion's head like yours? (CHUCKLES)

Oh, I'm so sorry if I'm boring you, Your Majesty. Uh, do let me know when you're ready to do something, hm?

MUSIC:

FAUX MIDDLE EASTERN, FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN CONTINUES IN BG, BUILDING OMINOUSLY TO A CLIMAX DURING FOLLOWING--

SEKHMET:

(POWERFUL AND EERIE) Woman! Woman!

DIANA:

What--? What's that?

SEKHMET:

Listen to me!

DIANA:

What--? Who--?

SEKHMET:

I am Sekhmet, goddess of destruction!

DIANA:

You--? You are Sekhmet?

SEKHMET:

I am Sekhmet!

DIANA:

Oh, no, no. I must be dreaming.

SEKHMET:

You are not dreaming!

DIANA:

What - what do you wish of me?

SEKHMET:

Your mind!

DIANA:

My mind? Oh, no, you shan't have that.

SEKHMET:

Your soul!

DIANA:

You're not going to take my soul from me.

SEKHMET:

Before the moon sets and the sun rises, I shall have your mind and your soul!

DIANA:

Never!

SEKHMET:

I have spoken! You came to scoff! You shall not leave my temple alive!

DIANA:

You can't harm me, Sekhmet. I'm me -- and you're a fool.

SEKHMET:

It is you who are the fool, woman! Think you mortal mind and mortal body can overcome the wisdom and power of the ages?! I am immortal! I am ageless! I live forever! I shall never die!

DIANA:

What are you going to do to me?

SEKHMET:

I shall take you from your life, take you for myself, as I have taken others before you!

DIANA:

(LAUGHS) They were weaklings, Sekhmet. I'm not weak!

SEKHMET:

Mortal strength is nothing when pitted against my will! I shall crush your spirit -- and you!

DIANA:

Crush me? How?

SEKHMET:

I can leave this temporal body of granite and stone and envelop you!

DIANA:

Tell me you're lying, Sekhmet. You're trying to scare me. (SHRIEKS, GASPS) I'm stuck!

SEKHMET:

Am I lying, woman?! Or can you feel my spirit around you?! Crushing you!

DIANA:

(GASPING) You can't - really hurt me.

SEKHMET:

Woman, I have not even begun to hurt you!

DIANA:

(STRUGGLES, DEFIANT) Then - then let - me see your work. (CONTINUES TO GASP AND STRUGGLE IN BG)

SEKHMET:

(LEISURELY) There is no need for haste. Time is infinite. Time is endless.

DIANA:

I'm not afraid of you, Sekhmet. You hear? I'm not afraid of you.

SEKHMET:

That makes no difference. Sekhmet takes what she wants!

DIANA:

(IN PAIN) Oh!

SEKHMET:

Nothing can stand in the way of her desire!

DIANA:

(WEAK) Ooh, I can feel your presence. If only I could see you.

SEKHMET:

You shall see me -- when I have taken you for myself!

DIANA:

(INCREASINGLY HYSTERICAL) Stop it. Let me go. Get away from me, you Devil's daughter! Get away! You shan't harm me! Do you hear?! You shan't harm me! I warn you! If you come any nearer, I will--!

SEKHMET:

Woman, you will do nothing!

DIANA:

I will! I'll raise my hand like this!

SEKHMET:

'Twill avail you nothing!

DIANA:

I'll strike you! I'll strike you with my clenched fist!

SEKHMET:

You dare not!

DIANA:

I will! Like this!

MUSIC:

ABRUPTLY OUT WITH--

SOUND:

MASSIVE CRASH! OF STONE AND GRANITE ... LIKE A THUNDERCLAP OR EXPLOSION ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

DIANA:

(BLOODCURDLING SCREAM)

CHARLES:

(APPROACHES HURRIEDLY) Diana?! Diana?! Diana, what's happened?! Diana?! Diana?! Are you all right?

DIANA:

(AWAKENS, DAZED) Why, I'm all right, dear. Nothing's happened.

CHARLES:

No? But the crash--? The noise--? What was it?

DIANA:

What noise? What crash? Nothing happened.

CHARLES:

Well, Al-Zak and I heard the most awful rending of stone. It sounded as though the whole temple had fallen down on you. (CALLS) Al-Zak, bring the lantern!

AL-ZAK:

(OFF) Yes, effendi.

CHARLES:

Tell me, dear. Just - just what happened?

DIANA:

I - I don't know. It seemed as though I heard the voice of Sekhmet threaten me. Then I felt something crushing me. I couldn't see anything, but I drew back my hand like this and I lashed out at it.

CHARLES:

Did you - did you hit anything?

DIANA:

No. My hand simply struck air. And then - then I screamed and-- (EXHALES HELPLESSLY)

AL-ZAK:

The lantern, effendi. Is madam safe?

CHARLES:

Yes, thank God. Here -- hold it up. Let's have a look around.

AL-ZAK:

(PAUSE, AMAZED, WHISPERS) Look!

CHARLES:

Where? What?

AL-ZAK:

The face of the statue!

CHARLES:

Good Lord.

DIANA:

What - what is it?

CHARLES:

It's broken! See that crack running from the left point of the jaw, right across the face?

DIANA:

There's - there's no more expression to it. Why, Charles, you remember how cruel and fascinating she looked? What's happened?

CHARLES:

You've killed her, that's all. You've killed the Devil's daughter.

DIANA:

But my hand hit nothing, I tell you!

CHARLES:

(CHUCKLES) You don't think that your little white hand broke that granite, which has stood centuries, do you?

DIANA:

Then - then how--?

CHARLES:

You killed her with her own weapons. You killed her with your will. You broke the spirit of the Devil's daughter.

MUSIC:

FAUX MIDDLE EASTERN, FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN FADES OUT

GUIDE:

This way, ladies and gentlemen. This way.

BIZ:

WALLA OF TOURISTS AS THEY FILE INTO TEMPLE ... THEY MURMUR APPROPRIATELY (WITH SKEPTICISM, INTEREST, AWE, ET CETERA) DURING THE GUIDE'S SPEECH

GUIDE:

You are now standing in the temple of Sekhmet, the Egyptian goddess of destruction. Directly in front of you is the statue of the goddess. It is made of granite and stone. It stands ten feet high. The number of hours [of labor] consumed in its erection is unknown.

I respectfully call to your attention the slim, feminine upright body with the lion's head. Across the face of the statue is a crack -- which mysteriously appeared one night and for which no one can account.

Although she descends from a long line of Kings, it is whispered that Sekhmet's-- (FADES OUT)

MUSIC:

FAUX MIDDLE EASTERN, FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN FADES OUT BEHIND--

ANNOUNCER:

And so ends another Front Page Drama, taken from the pages of the American Weekly magazine. This true story will appear in next Sunday's issue under the title, "Three Weird Nights with the Devil's Daughter." This is only one of the many interesting stories and articles appearing in the American Weekly, the magazine distributed with all Hearst Sunday newspapers from coast to coast. This is Wentworth announcing. Your own announcer will now give you further details of the many other interesting features appearing in next Sunday's issue of the American Weekly magazine.

MUSIC:

CLASSICAL AND UNEARTHLY ... CLOSING