Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Suspense
Show: Murder on Mike
Date: Jul 28 1957

CAST:

The Suspense Team:
ANNOUNCER
WILLIAM N. ROBSON, producer
SINGERS, of cigarette jingle
CBS ANNOUNCER (1 line)

The Characters:
CHRIS TURNER, insane radio writer
KEN AVERY, his producer
LOIS, Ken's daughter
HANK, a friend of Chris'
DORIS (3 lines)
GEORGE (3 lines)

NOTE: SUSPENSE broadcast a different, longer version of this play on December 3, 1951 as "A Murderous Revision."

MUSIC:

SUSPENSE THEME

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

ANNOUNCER:

And the producer of Radio's Outstanding Theatre of Thrills, the Master of Mystery and Adventure, William N. Robson.

ROBSON:

Directors of radio plays share a common fantasy, an unattainable goal -- the dream of producing a broadcast in which murder is actually committed on mike. But since they are, by and large, sane, responsible citizens, their dream is in vain. Not so the hero of the upcoming story. He sets out with lethal intent to make his dream come true. Listen-- Listen, then, as Mr. Raymond Burr stars in "Murder on Mike," which begins in exactly one minute.

MUSIC:

COMMERCIAL JINGLE ... MELLOW JAZZ ... THEN IN BG

SINGERS:

Smokes Kent!
Smokes Kent!
Smokes Kent! With the micronized filter!

It is the mild, mild cigarette!
It's got the freshest, cleanest taste yet!
It is the mild Kent cigarette!
Smokes Kent! With the micronized filter!

MUSIC:

MELLOW JAZZ HORN SOLO ... THEN IN BG

SINGERS:

It is the mild, mild cigarette!
It's got the freshest, cleanest taste yet!
It is the mild Kent cigarette!
Smokes Kent!
Smokes Kent!
Smokes Kent! With the micronized filter!

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

And now--

MUSIC:

SUSPENSE THEME

ANNOUNCER:

Mr. Raymond Burr in "Murder on Mike," a tale well-calculated to keep you in--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

--SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

FOR A BRIEF INTRO, THEN OUT

SOUND:

KNOCK ON DOOR

KEN:

(BEHIND DOOR) Yeah?

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

CHRIS:

Want to see me, boss man?

KEN:

Oh, yeah, Chris. Come in.

SOUND:

DOOR SHUTS

KEN:

Sit down.

SOUND:

CHRIS' FOOTSTEPS IN, CHAIR SCRAPES

KEN:

You hear the show Sunday?

CHRIS:

No.

KEN:

Well, you should have. After I got through rewriting that closing scene, it really played.

CHRIS:

I'll bet.

KEN:

I don't get it, Chris. I don't make you come to rehearsals. You don't have to sit in the control room all day. The least you can do is listen to the show at home.

CHRIS:

Nothing in my contract says I have to.

KEN:

Well, listen to this playback.

SOUND:

TAPE MACHINE STARTS ... RECORDING OF ACTORS' FILTERED VOICES

DORIS:

(FILTER) George -- honest, I didn't mean it, George!

KEN:

(QUIETLY) Get this, Chris, get it!

GEORGE:

(FILTER) Do you mean to say that you didn't really mean it when you told my brother that you didn't love him?

DORIS:

(FILTER) No.

GEORGE:

(FILTER) You forget, Doris, that I heard you, every word, while I was hiding behind the davenport the night my mother was here.

DORIS:

(FILTER) George, I beg you! Don't do this thing! Put down the gun, George!

GEORGE:

(FILTER) This is only what you deserve!

SOUND:

GUN SHOT

DORIS:

(OVERACTS -- GASPS, SWOONS)

SOUND:

DORIS FALLS TO THE FLOOR

GEORGE:

(FILTER) You tricked me for the last time, Doris. You tricked me for the last time!

KEN:

(PLEASED) Ha ha! How 'bout that, kid?

SOUND:

ON RECORDING, CHIMES AND WIND BLOWS ... TO SIGNAL END OF PROGRAM ... THEN OUT

CHRIS:

(ANGRY) What did you change it for? What was wrong with my ending? Why did you change it?!

KEN:

Take it easy, Chris. I'll tell you why I changed it. Because it was wordy and repetitious.

CHRIS:

Did it every occur to you that maybe people are wordy and repetitious?

KEN:

Chris, I'm trying to tell you the scene the way you wrote it just didn't play!

CHRIS:

(WITH CONTEMPT) "Just didn't play." That's right. Drag out all the trade clichés. It didn't live. It didn't play. You ran it up the flagpole and no one saluted it.

KEN:

What?

CHRIS:

How did you ever get into this business?! Who ever let you into a radio station?!

KEN:

Chris, I think you need help.

CHRIS:

Help?

KEN:

Yes. Now, I know a good man -- Freudian, but liberal--

CHRIS:

Don't you tell me I need a psychiatrist!

SOUND:

SCUFFLE

KEN:

Let go of me. I said, let go!

SOUND:

KEN BREAKS AWAY FROM CHRIS

KEN:

(ASTONISHED) You are nuts.

CHRIS:

You listen to me, boss man. For two years now, I've ground out a murder a week for you. Week in and week out. A murder a week. I eat murder, talk murder, dream murder. And what happens?! Every time I turn in a decent script, you chop the heart out of it!

KEN:

Your contract is up next week, Chris. You've only got one more script to do. Write it and get out!

CHRIS:

You'll get better than a script. You'll get everything you deserve. I'm gonna show you what a real murder sounds like!

SOUND:

CHRIS' FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH OPENS

CHRIS:

I'm gonna show ya even if I have to kill ya to do it!

SOUND:

DOOR SLAMS SHUT

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

CHRIS:

(COOL AND CALM) Good evening. This is a recording of an actual murder. Not written, not rehearsed. But well and thoroughly planned.

MUSIC:

FROM A RECORDING ... IN BG, OUT AT [X]

CHRIS:

It is respectfully dedicated to Mr. Ken Avery, editor and producer of the radio program "Murder, Please."

This is my last show, Mr. Avery. I'm delivering it to you in its entirety -- cast, music, everything. The events and persons are absolutely real. It's going be a great show, Mr. Avery. You'll hear everything but the climax.

I'm speaking into a microphone concealed in my desk and connected with a hidden tape recorder. A special microphone is attached to my telephone to enable the listener to hear both ends of any conversation.

The music you hear is coming from a high fidelity phonograph at my side. This program is produced, edited, directed, narrated, engineered and plotted by Christopher Turner, whose only claim to immortality is this final half hour.

And now, Mr. Avery, the leading characters in order of appearance. The murderer -- myself.

The catalytic agent -- your daughter, Lois.

The victim -- you. [X]

Listen-- Listen, then, Mr. Avery, to the last show you'll ever hear.

MUSIC:

FOR OMINOUS "MURDER, PLEASE" THEME

CHRIS: Murder, Please!

MUSIC:

BIG ACCENT ... THEN OUT

SOUND:

RECEIVER UP, PHONE DIALED ... RINGS TWICE (FROM CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE), THEN ANSWERED

KEN:

(FILTER) Hello?

CHRIS:

Ken, this is Chris.

KEN:

(FILTER, UNHAPPY) What do you want?

CHRIS:

I hate to bother you at home, but I'd like to apologize for the way I acted this afternoon.

KEN:

(FILTER, UNENTHUSIASTIC) I accept the apology.

CHRIS:

Ken-- Ken, I'd like to talk to you about renewing my contract. How about dropping down to my office?

KEN:

(FILTER) Sorry, Chris. No go. I put up with you for two years now -- your temper tantrums; your insults; coming in stewed to the gills. Two years of it was plenty. I've had it.

CHRIS:

I see. You won't change your mind?

KEN:

(FILTER, WITH FINALITY) Not a chance.

CHRIS:

Okay, Ken. Thanks. Thanks for nothing.

SOUND:

CHRIS HANGS UP

MUSIC:

SNEAK IN RECORDED MUSIC BEHIND FOLLOWING, CONTINUES IN BG, OUT AT [X]

CHRIS:

(CHUCKLES) Lovely opening scene, Mr. Avery -- thank you. You played it exactly the way I wanted you to. You just threw away your last chance to save your life. An excellent performance, Mr. Avery. I shall kill you in the name of the parasitical breed you represent -- the avaricious, arrogant men of high places who milk the talent of others and claim it as their own.

So, Mr. Avery, if you won't come down to my office by invitation -- and I knew you wouldn't -- there's another way. The telephone book. [X] Listen, Mr. Avery.

SOUND:

FLIPPING PHONE BOOK PAGES

CHRIS:

The sound of the flipping of pages.

SOUND:

MORE FLIPPING

CHRIS:

Your daughter's phone number. Here we are.

SOUNDS:

RECEIVER UP, PHONE DIALED ... RINGS TWICE (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE), ANSWERED

LOIS:

(FILTER) Hello?

CHRIS:

Hello, Lois. Been a long time. Bet you don't even know who this is.

LOIS:

I don't recognize the voice.

CHRIS:

Christopher Turner.

LOIS:

Oh! Oh, hello, Mr. Turner. How are you?

CHRIS:

Fine, just fine. How do you, uh, like living alone?

LOIS:

Oh, it's all right, I guess.

CHRIS:

Rather be living with the folks?

LOIS:

No. No, it's kind of independent this way.

CHRIS:

How's the writing coming?

LOIS:

Oh, not so good, Mr. Turner. I've written five scripts so far and every one of them has been rejected. I don't know what's the matter.

CHRIS:

Well, the reason I called was, your dad and I had a little talk this afternoon about you. He - he thought perhaps I could help you.

LOIS:

Oh, well, I wouldn't want to bother you.

CHRIS:

Oh, no bother at all, Lois. I like to help aspiring young talent.

LOIS:

That's very kind of you.

CHRIS:

What are you doing this evening?

LOIS:

Oh, I was going to wash my hair.

CHRIS:

Why don't you wash your hair tomorrow evening and come down to my office right now? We'll get started.

LOIS:

Well, I - I told a girlfriend I'd be home tonight. She was going to drop over.

CHRIS:

Can't you call her and tell her to make it some other night? Here's the point. This is the only free night I'll have this week. Things are sort of piling up. I'd like to see you get squared away with your writing. And I did promise your dad.

LOIS:

Well, all right, Mr. Turner.

CHRIS:

You know where my office is?

LOIS:

No, I don't think so.

CHRIS:

It's right across from the studios. In the annex. Room Two-Oh-Eight.

LOIS:

I'll be right over.

CHRIS:

Fine.

LOIS:

And I certainly appreciate this, I'm sure.

CHRIS:

Not at all, Lois. Good-bye.

LOIS:

Good-bye.

SOUND:

CHRIS HANGS UP PHONE

CHRIS:

"I'll be right over." "I certainly appreciate this, I'm sure." "Not at all." You see, Mr. Avery? That's how people talk. Now, let's see. What else? Oh, yes. Sound. Drawer opens.

SOUND:

DESK DRAWER OPENS

CHRIS:

Gun taken out.

SOUND:

GUN BUMPS DRAWER AS IT COMES OUT

CHRIS:

Click of breach.

SOUND:

PISTOL BROKEN OPEN

CHRIS:

Whirl of chamber.

SOUND:

CHAMBER WHIRLS

CHRIS:

Bullets inserted in chamber.

SOUND:

BULLETS INSERTED

CHRIS:

Three, four, five and six.

SOUND:

CHAMBER CLOSES ... BOX OF BULLETS PUT AWAY

CHRIS:

Gun in drawer.

SOUND: GUN BUMPS DRAWER AS IT GOES BACK IN

CHRIS:

Drawer closed.

SOUND:

DRAWER CLOSES

CHRIS:

Now we must wait until the--

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS

CHRIS:

You see, Mr. Avery? Fate is a better dramatist than either of us. Just when things start getting dull, the phone rings.

SOUND:

PHONE RECEIVER UP

CHRIS:

Hello?

HANK:

(FILTER) Hello, Chris. Hank.

CHRIS:

Oh, hi, Hank.

HANK:

What is this? Old man Avery got you slaving on an around-the-clock basis now? When are you gonna tell him to go take a flying leap?

CHRIS:

I just did that today.

HANK:

No kidding? Well, congratulations. From here, you can't go any place but up.

CHRIS:

Yeah.

HANK:

Say, Chris, we've got a pretty active poker game goin' on over here. Just room for one more sucker. What do you say?

CHRIS:

I can't tonight. I'm doing my last show.

HANK:

Oh, forget it for one night, why don't you? Live a little!

CHRIS:

Thanks, Hank. But I can't.

HANK:

I'm coming over and get you away from that typewriter if I have to use force.

CHRIS:

I can't do it, Hank. The show's next Sunday.

HANK:

Well, I got a script due tomorrow. You don't see me knockin' myself out. Let them wait. I'll be right over.

CHRIS:

Listen, Hank. You can't come over here. (POINTED) Uh, don't you get it?

HANK:

(REALIZES, SLOWLY) Oh. Oh, I'm sorry, Chris. Sure thing. Give her my regards. Anybody I know?

CHRIS:

A story conference, that's right.

HANK:

Yeah. Well, uh, take it easy, boy. Uh, how 'bout lunch tomorrow?

CHRIS:

Mm, sure thing.

HANK:

Okay, Chris. Goodbye.

CHRIS:

Bye.

SOUND:

CHRIS HANGS UP PHONE

CHRIS:

(LIGHT SIGH) That was close. Good scene, though -- don't you think, Mr. Avery?

MUSIC:

SOMBER ... RECORDED MUSIC, FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG, FADES OUT AT [X]

CHRIS:

Your daughter, Mr. Avery, has just driven up in front of the building. She wears a cardigan sweater, tweed skirt, flat shoes. She's young, and very pretty. A girl with everything to live for. Now she's disappeared into the building. In a moment, she'll knock on my door. Then, Mr. Avery, you will hear for yourself how youth reacts to the threat of death.

And this, Mr. Avery, would be the proper dramatic moment to end Act One. [X]

May I suggest, at this point, you insert one of your beloved commercials?

MUSIC:

TAG TO END ACT ONE ... THEN OUT

ANNOUNCER:

In just a moment, we continue with--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

--SUSPENSE.

MUSIC:

OUT

CBS ANNCR:

There's no room for gloom when Arthur Godfrey or Art Linkletter are around. So, if you're working around the house, motoring on the highway, or tending the store, you'll find that things get done faster when you let both of these masters of merriment bring you their good cheer. ARTHUR GODFREY TIME and ART LINKLETTER'S HOUSE PARTY are both yours five days a week on most of these same stations. Each of them is a shortcut to happiness.

On CBS Radio's GODFREY TIME, Arthur and all the little Godfreys offer songs that are stylish and wit that is bright. And, as anyone who hears them each Monday through Friday can tell you, they haven't got an enemy in the world, unless it's Old Man Trouble himself.

Art Linkletter has the pleasure of playing host at a fun-filled house party every Monday through Friday on CBS Radio and that's the pleasure he'd like to share with you. If you like good company and enjoy good times, make it a point to listen for ARTHUR GODFREY TIME and ART LINKLETTER'S HOUSE PARTY five days a week like clockwork.

ANNOUNCER:

And now--

MUSIC:

SUSPENSE THEME

ANNOUNCER:

We continue with the second act of "Murder on Mike," starring Mr. Raymond Burr, a tale well-calculated to keep you in--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

--SUSPENSE.

MUSIC:

FOR A SECOND ACT INTRO, THEN OUT

CHRIS:

Act Two. This is Christopher Turner once again, Mr. Avery, bringing you, by transcription, the first recording of an actual murder ever made specifically for broadcast.

MUSIC:

SNEAK IN RECORDED MUSIC, CONTINUES IN BG, OUT AT [X]

CHRIS:

The setting -- my office. The music -- recorded. The time -- night. The victim -- yourself.

Your daughter has just entered the building and, in a few seconds, she'll be knocking on my door.

I'm sorry I have to go to such lengths to get you into my office. I'd gladly have killed you in the street. But it's so much more difficult to make a recording there.

So concludes the usual resumé with which we begin the second act of every "Murder, Please" program.

I hear her footsteps in the hall. [X] Your cue, Lois. Sound -- knock on door.

SOUND:

KNOCK ON DOOR

CHRIS:

Come in.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS & CLOSES, LOIS' FOOTSTEPS IN, UNDER FOLLOWING--

CHRIS:

Hello, Lois. Come on in.

LOIS:

(FADES IN) Thanks, Mr. Turner.

CHRIS: Have a seat. Here, by the desk.

SOUND:

CHAIR SCRAPES

LOIS:

This is awfully nice of you, Mr. Turner. I - I always tell dad to stop imposing on my behalf, but I guess he'll never learn.

CHRIS:

You're here because I want you to be here, and for no other reason. Now, cigarette?

LOIS:

Oh, no, thanks. (BEAT) My, this is a nice office you have here.

CHRIS:

It serves. Just a hole in the wall, but quiet. Nothing fancy.

LOIS:

Oh. I like it.

CHRIS:

How long have you been writing, Lois?

LOIS:

Oh, all of my life. But, uh, well, seriously about six months.

CHRIS:

What sort of things?

LOIS:

Murder mostly. I hear that's what sells best.

CHRIS:

True. True, you can usually make more money writing about murder than committing it. So, uh, suppose we just start talking about murder. Maybe something interesting will come out. Now, tell me. Why do you think people kill?

LOIS:

Oh, lots of reasons, I guess.

CHRIS:

Could you kill?

LOIS:

I don't think so.

CHRIS:

Maybe you could. Here.

SOUND:

DRAWER OPENS ... GUN TAKEN OUT

CHRIS:

Now, here's a loaded gun. Take it.

LOIS:

(UNNERVED) Oh! Please put it away.

CHRIS:

Take it in your hand.

LOIS:

No. No, I'd rather not.

CHRIS:

Oh, it's very obedient. Won't fire unless you press the trigger. Take it. That's it. Now. Point it at me.

LOIS:

Oh, please. I--

CHRIS:

Think now, think. One touch of your finger and you kill me. One little touch. Very delicate instrument, the trigger. There's a sense of power there. Feel it?

LOIS:

I - I'm afraid.

CHRIS:

Fear? Yes, but exhilaration, too. Like the second drink.

LOIS:

Yes, I - I guess I feel it.

CHRIS:

You - you can give it back to me now.

LOIS:

(RELIEVED SIGH) I - I never held a gun before.

CHRIS:

Are you --- afraid of death?

LOIS:

Well, sometimes. When I think about it.

CHRIS:

What is death to you?

LOIS:

Death? I - I don't know.

CHRIS:

No idea?

LOIS:

Emptiness. Blackness. Nothing.

CHRIS:

Is that so terrible?

LOIS:

Yes, because you really don't know.

CHRIS:

Like the dark?

LOIS:

That's it.

CHRIS:

You - you don't know any more about death than you do about me.

LOIS:

You?

CHRIS:

Yes.

LOIS:

Well, I know you work for dad.

CHRIS:

But you've never even spent one hour with me. Once, at lunch, your father introduced us. Yet you came up here alone. Now, how do you know you can trust me?

LOIS:

I suppose I don't, really.

CHRIS:

Look at this gun.

LOIS:

Please put it down. It makes me terribly nervous.

CHRIS:

Do you have any money?

LOIS:

A little.

CHRIS:

How much?

LOIS:

Five dollars, maybe. And some change.

CHRIS:

Give it to me.

SOUND:

PURSE OPENS

LOIS:

Here.

SOUND:

CRINKLE OF PAPER MONEY

CHRIS:

Now, why did you give me the money?

LOIS:

Because you asked me for it.

CHRIS:

Because you were hoping I'd put down the gun? And if I'd said a kiss, one kiss, and I'll put down the gun -- what would you do?

LOIS:

I - I suppose-- I suppose I'd give you--

CHRIS:

But a kiss! That would be harder to give, wouldn't it?

LOIS:

Yes.

CHRIS:

Kiss me.

LOIS:

(A PAUSE AS SHE KISSES HIM) There.

CHRIS:

Thank you.

LOIS:

Now - now, put down the gun. Please. I know it's a lesson in writing and all that, but it scares me.

CHRIS:

No.

LOIS:

But you said you would.

CHRIS:

I said nothing of the kind. And if I had said it, you would have been foolish enough to believe me. You can't trust a man with a gun! You feel helpless, don't you?

LOIS:

Yes.

CHRIS:

While you could give me money, there was hope. While you could give me love, there was hope. But, if all I wanted was revenge, there would be nothing you could do to save yourself.

LOIS:

Nothing.

CHRIS:

And if I told you that right now, this moment, I'm going to pull this trigger and blow you to bits -- tell me, what would you say?

LOIS:

Well, I'd try to talk you out of it.

CHRIS:

What would you say?!

LOIS:

I wouldn't know what to say.

CHRIS:

Then I'd shoot!

LOIS:

I'd tell you about the electric chair.

CHRIS:

Very little threat to a man about to kill. Later, perhaps, when he's running away, then he'll think about consequences, but not now! Now, it's only kill! Now, what else? What else would you say?

LOIS:

I'd beg him!

CHRIS:

He wouldn't listen.

LOIS:

I'd plead with him. I'd say, "Please, don't kill me"!

CHRIS:

And if he still wouldn't listen?

LOIS:

(BEAT) Then -- then I'd die.

CHRIS:

Yes. You'd die.

LOIS:

Mr. Turner, I - I think I'd better be going.

CHRIS:

No! We're not even started yet.

LOIS:

Well, if you don't put down that gun, I'm going. I don't like this.

CHRIS:

Sit down. I want to tell you a story.

LOIS:

Please, Mr. Turner--

CHRIS:

Sit down! (PAUSE) This is just a sample plot. You can have it if you want to. It's about a writer, a writer who had great novels in him, great plays -- but he was broke. For the sake of a roof over his head and three meals a day, he started turning out radio mysteries. He turned them out until every drop of originality was squeezed out of him. Finally, he realized that he had nothing to leave to the world, nothing but scripts to be swept up by a studio janitor after the broadcast.

Well, the writer made a decision one day. He would do a last radio play -- a radio play with an actual murder, the only chance he had for immortality. And he selected as his victim the man who had squeezed his talent dry. He selected his editor and producer, Ken Avery.

LOIS:

(SOBS) Please--

CHRIS:

I like you. I - like you very much, Lois. I wish this could be happening to almost anyone but you. Get to the phone.

LOIS:

What?

CHRIS:

The telephone.

LOIS:

What for?

CHRIS:

To call your father.

LOIS:

No! No, I won't do it!

CHRIS:

You'll call your father and you'll tell him to come down here! Now, pick up the receiver! No, no, wait, I'll do it.

SOUND:

RECEIVER UP

LOIS:

(TEARFUL) Please, please, Mr. Turner--

CHRIS:

Be quiet!

SOUND:

PHONE DIALED ... PHONE RINGS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)

CHRIS:

Now, take the phone. Tell him.

LOIS:

(WEAKLY) No--

CHRIS:

It's ringing; take it.

SOUND:

PHONE ANSWERED

KEN:

(FILTER) Hello. (NO ANSWER) Hello?

LOIS:

Dad?

KEN:

(FILTER) Lois? Lois, what are you calling at this time of night for? Something the matter?

LOIS:

Dad, I--

CHRIS:

(QUIETLY) You want him to take you home. You don't feel well.

LOIS:

I--

KEN:

(FILTER) Lois, something is the matter. Where are you?

LOIS: I - I'm at Mr. Turner's.

KEN:

(FILTER) Turner's? His apartment?

LOIS:

His office. I - I don't feel well. Dad--

CHRIS:

(QUIETLY) Come and take me home.

LOIS:

Come and take me home. I - I don't feel well at all.

CHRIS:

Give me the phone.

LOIS:

(WHIMPERS)

CHRIS:

(INTO PHONE) Hello, Ken?

KEN:

(FILTER) What's the matter with Lois, Chris?

CHRIS:

I don't know. She came up tonight to discuss some scripts she wrote, but she seems to be suddenly taken ill. You'd better come and get her.

KEN:

(FILTER) I'll be right down.

SOUND:

ON FILTER, KEN HANGS UP ... THEN CHRIS HANGS UP

CHRIS:

Relax, Lois. We haven't got very long to wait. The script is nearly finished.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

CHRIS:

Twenty minutes have gone by. And now I hear steps in the hall -- steps of Mr. Ken Avery. The climax, ladies and gentlemen of the listening audience, I produced for you. Mr. Avery will never live to hear it.

SOUND:

DOOR BURSTS OPEN, KEN STEPS IN

KEN:

Lois, are you--?

CHRIS:

Sit down, Ken.

KEN:

What is this? Lois, what's been going on here?

CHRIS:

Tell him, Lois.

LOIS:

(TEARFUL) He's going to kill you! He's gonna kill both of us!

CHRIS:

Close the door.

SOUND:

KEN'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH CLOSES

KEN:

Chris, put that thing down. Somebody's liable to get hurt.

CHRIS:

(CHUCKLES) Good line. Perfectly in character. The inane cliché from the mouth of the great producer. You see, Ken, everything's being recorded -- your voice, Lois's, mine. Sit down.

KEN:

Recorded? For what?

CHRIS:

Posterity. For the show next week. You'll have the honor of appearing on your own program as the murder victim. Here, let me show you, here in the desk.

SOUND:

PANEL SLIDES OPEN

CHRIS:

You see? Tape recorder. I've stop-watched every second. It's been running exactly twenty-five minutes. You always made it a rule to plan the climax for twenty-six thirty so you could have room for a final commercial. Well, that's just what I'm doing. According to my timing, you have about one minute and thirty seconds to live.

KEN:

All right, Chris. All right. That's enough of the phony dramatics. Give me that gun before somebody gets hurt.

CHRIS:

Stand back! I wouldn't want to mistime the climax of the show.

KEN:

This won't make a show.

CHRIS:

You won't be around to change it, Mr. Avery!

KEN:

The agency wouldn't put this thing on the air.

CHRIS:

Why not?

KEN:

You telegraphed the ending.

CHRIS:

Oh?

KEN:

There's no twist. No surprise ending. You told the audience to expect the murder to be successful. But our shows have to have some kind of surprise for the audience, Chris. You know that. Where's the twist?

CHRIS:

(LAUGHS) Still the editor, right to death's door? All right, Ken, perhaps you can provide the surprise ending that's going to save your life.

KEN:

I don't have to.

CHRIS:

Oh?

KEN:

You provided the twist yourself, Chris. But you didn't know it. And yet the twist was part of the story all the time.

CHRIS:

Where, Editor Avery?

KEN:

You, Chris. You're the twist.

CHRIS:

Me?

KEN:

That's right. You're a flop, Chris. You're so used to dreaming on paper, you can't live any more. You wrote about love because you never had it. You wrote about fortunes and you haven't got two bits. You wrote about murder, but you haven't got the guts to pull the trigger. Now, give me that gun.

CHRIS:

You think I won't shoot?

KEN:

I know you won't. Give me that gun, you hack.

CHRIS:

(SHAKEN) What did you say?

KEN:

I said, you were a hack. Give me the gun.

CHRIS:

No! No, I'm not a hack! I'm not!

KEN:

(WITH EFFORT) Give me that gun!

SOUND:

SCUFFLE ... CONTINUES IN BG

CHRIS:

Let go! Let go of my hand!

KEN:

Drop it! Drop it, I said. Drop it!

CHRIS:

Let go!

SOUND:

REALISTIC GUN SHOT ... SCUFFLE ENDS

CHRIS:

(PAUSE, CHUCKLE, DYING, SLOWLY) You - always - had to - change the ending.

SOUND:

BODY CRUMPLES TO FLOOR

LOIS:

(SHUDDERS) Dad! (SOBS)

KEN:

It's all right, Lois.

LOIS:

(TEARFUL) Oh, Dad, take me home. (SOBS, IN BG)

KEN:

We have nothing to worry about, Lois. The recording'll clear us.

LOIS:

Take me home, please, dad.

KEN:

Soon as I make sure of what's on that tape.

SOUND:

STOPS MACHINE

KEN:

I'll rewind it to the beginning.

SOUND:

TAPE REWINDS NOISILY, THEN STOPS

KEN:

Here we go.

SOUND:

STARTS MACHINE ... CHRIS' FILTERED VOICE ON TAPE

CHRIS:

(FILTER) Good evening. This is a recording of an actual murder. Not written, not rehearsed. But well and thoroughly planned. It is respectfully dedicated to Mr. Ken Avery, editor and producer of the radio program "Murder, Please." (FADES OUT BEHIND--)

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH ... AND OUT

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

In which Raymond Burr starred in William N. Robson's production of "Murder on Mike," written by S. Lee Pogostin. Listen-- Listen again next week when we return with "Flesh Peddler," starring DeForest Kelly, another tale well-calculated to keep you in--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE-- Supporting Mr. Burr in "Murder on Mike" were Norma Jean Nilsson, Anne Diamond, Alan Reed and Byron Kane.

MUSIC:

THEME