Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Suspense
Show: A Week Ago Wednesday
Date: Nov 29 1945

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
TRUMAN BRADLEY, announcer
MAUDE HASKIN
WOMAN, with distinct working class British accent
LITTLE BOY
HARRY HASKIN, Maude's loving husband
COUNTERMAN
PRIEST

ANNOUNCER:

Now, the Roma Wine Company of Fresno, California presents--

MUSIC:

SUSPENSE THEME ... THEN, IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE! Tonight, Roma Wines bring you Miss Nancy Kelly as star of "A Week Ago Wednesday," a SUSPENSE play produced, edited, and directed for Roma Wines by William Spier.

MUSIC: UP AND OUT

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE, Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills, is presented for your enjoyment by Roma Wines. That's R-O-M-A, Roma Wines, those excellent
California wines that can add so much pleasantness to the way you live, to your happiness in entertaining guests, to your enjoyment of everyday meals. Yes, right now, a glassful would be very pleasant as Roma Wines bring you Nancy Kelly in a remarkable tale of--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

FADES OUT

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I was married in a blue suit that wrinkled too easily and shoes that were too tight when I walked. Just another girl. I got hungry when I didn't eat and tired when I didn't sleep. And I got pushed around in the Eighth Avenue subway and I waited in line at the movies; I was hot in summer and cold in the winter.

Other people were killed and robbed and disgraced and in trouble so - so I could read about it in the morning paper. That sort of thing happened to other people, not to me, not to Maude Haskin. But, suddenly, I've become "other people" and a million someone-elses read about me.

I'd like to tell you how it was.

MUSIC:

SWEEPING US BACK TO THE PAST ... THEN IN BG

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) Harry and I had quarreled that Wednesday morning. I've tried to remember why, but I can't. I've tried to think, but--

SOUND:

CITY TRAFFIC

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) Well, I wasn't in any hurry to get home after work that day. That Wednesday. So I sat for a while on a bench in Central Park. The sky looked moody and had a dirty face. I watched evening happen quickly because it was going to rain.

SOUND:

THUNDER ... THEN RAIN

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) It started to come down -- doing my crying for me. And I ran.

SOUND:

MAUDE'S RUNNING FOOTSTEPS ON PAVEMENT IN RAIN

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I knew suddenly that I wanted to go home. I wanted to climb the stairs to the little furnished flat. I - I wanted Harry to be there so I could put my arms around him and feel him warm against me. I wanted to tell him that I loved him and that I was sick because I hadn't kissed him goodbye that morning.

SOUND:

APARTMENT HOUSE DOOR SLAMS SHUT ... RAIN OUT ... MAUDE'S RUNNING FOOTSTEPS UP THE STAIRS

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I nearly fell running up those narrow little steps. I stumbled a half a dozen times before I reached the third floor -- Apartment Three-B.

SOUND:

MAUDE'S RUNNING FOOTSTEPS SLOW TO A STOP BEHIND--

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I was nervous and I was too eager to get in. My hand was clumsy -- all thumbs. And the key wouldn't fit. It dropped to the floor.

SOUND:

KEY DROPS TO FLOOR

MUSIC:

NERVOUS EXCITEMENT ... SNEAKS IN GENTLY BEHIND--

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I stooped to pick it up and, as I did, the door was unlatched from the inside.

SOUND:

APARTMENT DOOR UNLATCHED AND OPENED

MAUDE:

Harry! (NARRATES) I saw it open and - and I nearly sobbed with joy and relief. (ALOUD) Harry!

MUSIC:

A NERVOUS, EXCITED ACCENT ... THEN UNEASY IN BG

WOMAN:

Yes? What is it, dearie?

MAUDE:

(NARRATES, CONFUSED) But it wasn't Harry. Not Harry looking anxious because I was late and worried because I was drenched with the rain. This was a stranger in our apartment. A small, dark woman with eyes like two shiny brown buttons in a pinched little face.

WOMAN:

Well?

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) She was wearing a flowered apron and in her hand she held a limp dish towel. I blinked at her stupidly.

MUSIC:

OUT GENTLY BEHIND--

WOMAN:

Well? Well, what is it? I don't want to buy anything. I'm busy; I'm makin' supper.

MAUDE:

Oh, but you don't understand. I'm--

WOMAN:

Lookin' for somebody? What apartment did you want? This is Three-B.

MAUDE:

(PUZZLED) Three-B?

WOMAN:

Yeah. What apartment are ya lookin' for?

MAUDE:

Oh, but I'm not. I--

MUSIC:

UNEASY ... SNEAKS IN GENTLY BEHIND--

WOMAN:

I won't be much help anyhow. Better ask down the hall. We only been livin' here a few days.

MAUDE:

(BEAT) Living here?

WOMAN:

Yes. What's the matter with ya, dearie? Are ya sick? Don't you feel well?

MAUDE:

I-- Well, no. No, I - I don't feel very well.

MUSIC:

OUT GENTLY BEHIND--

WOMAN:

And your clothes! Why, they're soppin' wet.

MAUDE:

Oh, the rain. I - I got caught in the rain.

WOMAN:

What are ya talking about? 'Tisn't rainin'.

MAUDE:

Oh, but you're wrong. It is raining. I just--

WOMAN:

Listen here, young woman, what kind of a game do ya think you're playin'?

MAUDE:

But-- Are you sure? Why, I - I ran-- I ran all the way because there was thunder and lightning.

MUSIC:

UNEASY ... SNEAKS IN GENTLY BEHIND--

WOMAN:

We had a storm a week ago, but it ain't rained like that since Wednesday.

MAUDE:

(BEAT, STUNNED) Wednesday? A week ago?

SOUND:

MAUDE'S FOOTSTEPS BRIEFLY AS SHE STAGGERS

MAUDE:

(READY TO FAINT) Oh, no. No.

WOMAN:

Here. Here, don't do that.

MAUDE:

(MURMURS WEAKLY)

WOMAN:

You sit down there, dearie, and I'll get some water.

MUSIC:

OUT GENTLY BEHIND--

SOUND:

WOMAN'S FOOTSTEPS START AWAY

WOMAN:

Don't move now. (MUTTERS TO HERSELF AS SHE MOVES OFF) And supper not ready and company comin'. Oh, what a day. Now this.

MAUDE:

(NARRATES, OVERLAPS WITH WOMAN ABOVE) I sat on the sofa.

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN GENTLY WITH--

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) Harry and I had talked just last night about having a spring in the middle cushion fixed. Or had we?

I - I ran my hand over the top -- cautiously, afraid. And then I stopped as if I'd suddenly taken hold of a live wire ---- for my fingers curved over the lumpy roughness of a pillow -- with a broken spring.

MUSIC:

OUT BEHIND--

SOUND:

WOMAN'S FOOTSTEPS RETURN

WOMAN:

(APPROACHES) Here. Here, drink this. Easy. Are ya better now? Don't talk; just drink it -- easy. That's it, dearie.

MAUDE:

Thank you. (NARRATES) Over the rim of the glass, she watched me.

I sipped the water slowly while my eyes drank in the room. Well, there was that crack at the base of the lamp from the day Harry got his raise. He'd been swinging me around the room, around and around in circles, until we were both dizzy and - and knocked the lamp over.

And there was the little table near the window. And there was the rug with the worn spot in it, and the fireplace and the mantle.

But our wedding picture on it was missing. And in its place there was a cheap blue vase.

WOMAN:

There! There. Better? Are ya better now?

MAUDE:

(STILL WEAK) Oh, much. Thank you.

WOMAN:

Want me to call a cab for you? Where do ya live, dearie?

MAUDE:

Why, I--

WOMAN:

You were lookin' for someone when you come. Friends of yours?

MAUDE:

Huh? Oh, friends. (GETS AN IDEA) Friends, yes. Yes, friends of mine. Harry and Maude Haskin.

WOMAN:

(SURPRISED) Haskin? But don't you read the papers? Ya mean you don't know?

MAUDE:

Know what?

WOMAN:

Why, about the murder, of course.

MUSIC:

AN ACCENT ... THEN IN BG

WOMAN:

We moved in a few days after it happened. My husband didn't like the idea, but an apartment's an apartment, these days. Foolishness being squeamish about those things. But, I said to him, "Charlie, it's a vacancy. So what if there was a murder here? It don't mean nothing."

MUSIC:

OUT ABRUPTLY--

MAUDE:

Murder?! Tell me. Tell me 'bout it.

WOMAN:

Oh, he looked such a nice young man, too -- at least, in his pictures.

MAUDE:

Who? Who are you talking about?

WOMAN:

Harry Haskin, of course. (CLICKS HER TONGUE, WITH DISAPPROVAL) Murder.

MAUDE:

(STUNNED) Harry?

WOMAN:

Yes. With an ice pick. Horrible. Right in that kitchen. Don't bother me none, but my Charlie won't eat there.

MAUDE:

Ice pick? Murdered?

WOMAN:

Isn't it awful? And everybody says they seemed so much in love. And she was so young, they say.

MAUDE:

(DAZED) What?

WOMAN:

Did you know them well?

MAUDE:

(TREMBLES) I-- Uh-- Oh, yes. Yes, very well.

WOMAN:

Must be a shock to ye. Can't understand why--

MAUDE:

(ANXIOUS) Is it in that paper? May I see it?

WOMAN:

Sure. Been full of nothing else for almost a week.

SOUND:

RATTLE OF NEWSPAPER

MUSIC:

IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

MAUDE:

(NARRATES, INCREASINGLY HYSTERICAL) She was right.

"Ice Pick Murderer Awaits Conviction," the headline screamed out at me. I closed my eyes for a minute to blot it out. Perhaps when I opened them again, the words would be gone. But they weren't. Big and bold as life or death, they mocked me.

"Ice Pick Murderer Awaits Conviction" -- and, underneath, the little black letters pieced themselves together to form the words, "killer," "bloody," "motive," and - and then they jumped crazily on the page.

Oh, there - there was a picture of Harry. Harry, my husband! I tried to read under it, but I couldn't.

MUSIC:

FADES OUT

WOMAN:

Oh, maybe I shouldn't 'a' let you see that. Better sit down again, dearie.

MAUDE:

(TEARFUL) No! No, let me alone! Oh, I'm all right! Let me alone! (WEEPS)

WOMAN:

(SOOTHING) Sure. All right, all right. After all, I didn't ask--

MAUDE:

(CALMS DOWN) Oh, I'm sorry. You've been very kind. Please, I - I better go.

MUSIC:

BRIEF TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG, FADES OUT AT [X]

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I don't remember leaving, walking down those stairs, out of the door.

SOUND:

CITY TRAFFIC, MAUDE'S BRISK FOOTSTEPS ... THEN IN BG

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I just remember finding myself on the street again, half-walking and half-running, wanting to curl up on the pavement and let my head burst with the ache and the fright that was growing inside. [X]

SOUND:

TRAFFIC AND FOOTSTEPS FADE FOR RINGING OF TOY BICYCLE BELL AND APPROACHING SCOOTER WHICH CONTINUE IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

LITTLE BOY:

(APPROACHES ON SCOOTER) Toot, toot! I'm a fireman! Watch out! I'm a fireman! Toot, toot! Toot, toot! I'm a fireman!

MAUDE:

(NARRATES, OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) I'm back in Central Park again. From out of nowhere, a little boy on a scooter came tearing around the bend. He turned sharply to keep from running into me. I watched him lose his balance and try to regain it dizzily.

LITTLE BOY:

I'm a fireman! Watch out, lady! Hey, lady! Watch out! Watch out--!

SOUND:

CRASH! OF SCOOTER ... BELL OUT

LITTLE BOY:

(WEEPS IN PAIN, CONTINUES IN BG)

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) He toppled over and fell in a pathetic little heap on the ground. His knee was bleeding. I ran over to pick him up.

LITTLE BOY:

(WEEPS) Oh, my knee! It hurts! Oh, my knee! Help me up, will ya?

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I bent over him, my arms outstretched to lift him to his feet again.

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN ... BUILDS TO ACCENT BEHIND--

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) And then I remembered.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN EERIE, IN BG

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I was dead.

I'd been murdered by my husband almost a week ago.

I was dead.

LITTLE BOY:

Help me up, lady. Will ya?

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I froze. This little boy -- if it were true -- and it was because I'd read it in the paper myself -- if I were really dead, I - I knew I couldn't touch this child. I was afraid. For him.

SOUND:

MAUDE'S RUNNING FOOTSTEPS THROUGH THE PARK ... IN BG

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) So I ran again.

LITTLE BOY:

(CALLS) Hey! Lady! Lady! Lady! (FADES OUT)

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I ran faster and faster till I couldn't hear him any more.

SOUND:

MAUDE'S RUNNING FOOTSTEPS SLOW TO A STOP BEHIND--

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) Then - then it was later somehow, and really dark. (WEARY) And I was so tired.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG, FADES OUT AT [X]

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I found myself back on that bench again -- the same bench I'd been sitting on earlier that evening. No one was around. [X] I stretched out and tried to sleep.

SOUND:

TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... BIRDS WHISTLE AND CHIRP, CONTINUES IN BG

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I knew I was awake before I opened my eyes. It smelled like morning -- fresh and clean. And I felt the sun soak into me.

I thought - I thought, when I open my eyes, I'll be back in my own bed again.

I'll reach out my arm and I'll find Harry there beside me and - everything'll be all right -- when I open my eyes.

I did.

And it was still Central Park.

I sat up stiffly and I smoothed out the wrinkles in my skirt. I wondered where I was going to go or what I was gonna do. I tried not to think of Harry, and where he was now--

SOUND:

HARRY'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH BEHIND--

HARRY:

(APPROACHES, GENUINELY CONCERNED) Maude! Maude darling -- are you all right?

MAUDE:

(SURPRISED) Harry? Harry, you--!

HARRY:

Oh, golly, baby, I've been worried sick about you all night. Where have you been? (NO ANSWER) Honey, I - I'm sorry about yesterday. Will you come home with me?

MAUDE:

(CONFUSED) Home?

HARRY:

Look at your clothes. They're still damp from the rain. Oh, if you get sick, I'll never forgive myself. How do you feel? Are you all right?

MAUDE:

(PLEASED) Rain! (SIMPLY) Oh, yes. Yes, I'm all right.

HARRY:

(RELIEVED) Aw, good. Come on, then. Let me take your arm.

SOUND:

BIRDS OUT AS HARRY HELPS MAUDE FROM THE BENCH

MUSIC:

IN BG ... CAUTIOUS RELIEF

MAUDE:

(NARRATES, RELIEVED) His big hand and long, strong fingers pressed against my arm. My head still ached, so I let him lead me.

SOUND:

RINGING OF TOY BICYCLE BELL AND APPROACHING SCOOTER WHICH CONTINUE IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) We left the Park from the entrance on Seventy-Second Street as ... (TENSE) ... a little boy on a scooter came tearing around the bend.

LITTLE BOY:

(APPROACHES ON SCOOTER) Toot, toot! I'm a fireman! Watch out! Toot, toot! I'm a fireman!

MUSIC:

SWELLS FOR A FINALE ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

For SUSPENSE, Roma Wines are bringing you as star, Miss Nancy Kelly in "A Week Ago Wednesday" by Winifred Wolfe, Roma Wines' presentation tonight in Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills, SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH ... OUT

BRADLEY:

Between the acts of SUSPENSE, this is Truman Bradley for Roma Wines. With the holidays ahead, here's good news to all who enjoy fine Roma Wines, to all who serve Roma Wines for gracious hospitality and for mealtime pleasure, Roma Wines are now featured at new low prices. In plentiful supply, too. Roma California Wines offer you full selections -- sherry, port, muscatel or tokay, for entertaining; burgundy or sauterne, for mealtime enjoyment. And champagne to make any happy occasion unforgettable. Each of these fine Roma Wines brings you taste luxury at new low prices. So be sure to have plenty of Roma Wines on hand. Roma Wines are grown from choicest grapes, unhurriedly perfected by age-old skill, bottled at Roma wineries in California's choicest vineyards. Remember, because of uniformly fine quality at low cost, more Americans enjoy Roma than any other wine. Roma Wines make perfect gifts, too. So insist on Roma Wines for good living and good giving. Roma Wines offer you so much, for so little. That's Roma, R-O-M-A, Roma Wines.

MUSIC:

THEME, IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

And now, Roma Wines bring back to our Hollywood sound stage Miss Nancy Kelly as Maude Haskin in "A Week Ago Wednesday," a play well-calculated to keep you in --- SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

UP, FOR AN INTRODUCTION, SWEEPING BACK TO PAST ... FADES OUT BY [X]

SOUND: APARTMENT DOOR UNLOCKS AND OPENS ... HARRY AND MAUDE'S FOOTSTEPS IN

HARRY:

(CHUCKLES) Place looks awful, doesn't it?

SOUND:

APARTMENT DOOR SHUTS [X]

HARRY:

(LIGHTLY) I don't know how many cigarettes I smoked. I - I tried to sleep, but I couldn't so I tried the couch and-- No luck there, either. That broken spring didn't help much. I was almost out of my mind worrying about you, honey. I got hungry about three o'clock in the morning but I couldn't eat. Dirty dishes still in the sink.

MAUDE:

(MOVING OFF) Never mind, I'll wash them.

HARRY:

Maude? (NO ANSWER) Darling?

MAUDE:

(OFF) Yes?

HARRY:

Come here, will ya? Why are you standing near the mantle? Why don't you come over to me?

MAUDE:

Huh? (MOVING ON) Oh, I was looking at - at the picture on it. Our wedding picture. (BEAT) It's there.

HARRY:

(WITH AN AMUSED CHUCKLE) Well, of course it's there. Where should it be? (BEAT, WARMLY) Darling -- put your arms around me, so I'll know you're real -- that you've come back. (SIMPLY) Where did you go? Where were you?

MAUDE:

I don't know.

HARRY:

All right. I won't ask questions now. Just put your arms around me tight and tell me you still love me.

MUSIC:

IN BG ... WARM

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) He held me close to him and he bent his head so it was buried warm and heavy against my throat. I thought, "It wouldn't hurt, because he's pressing me too tightly, if I were dead. I couldn't feel this tiny pulse in my throat beating quick and sharp if I were really dead."

MUSIC:

HOPEFUL ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) The worn spot on the rug was still there -- and the crack in the base of the lamp. But the wedding picture was back on the mantle and the woman with eyes like two shiny brown buttons was gone. There was just Harry and me. [X]

HARRY:

(GENUINELY CONCERNED) Are you hungry? Let me get you something to eat.

MAUDE:

I - am hungry; a little.

HARRY:

Well, let me make you something. Here, now, you sit down here on the couch and I'll bring it to ya. Or, uh, do you wanna change first?

MAUDE:

Yes. I'd like that.

HARRY:

Gee, I'm sorry you got caught in the rain, honey.

MAUDE:

It - it was raining, wasn't it, Harry? (TEARFUL) It was raining hard, wasn't it?

HARRY:

(AMUSED) Raining? I'll say it was. What a storm.

MAUDE:

(STARTS TO CRY) It was raining. It was raining hard! Oh, Harry! (WEEPS, IN BG)

HARRY:

(SOOTHING) Oh, Maude, sweet -- don't. Aw, please don't. You're home now.

MUSIC:

SLIGHT ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

SOUND:

CLINKING OF UTENSILS AND DISHES

MAUDE:

(NARRATES, SUSPICIOUS) We ate breakfast on the little table near the window. He leaned against the table -- his large arms resting on the cloth, his eyes steady and serious -- watching me. Why was he being so kind? Why should he be so good to me? What were the thoughts behind those eyes, watching me -- watching!

HARRY:

I love you. [X]

SOUND:

CRASH! OF DROPPED DISH BREAKING ON FLOOR

MAUDE:

(STARTLED) Oh! (NERVOUS) Oh, I - I'm sorry. I didn't mean-- It dropped.

HARRY:

Why, don't worry about it.

SOUND:

MAUDE'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY BEHIND--

MAUDE:

I'll - get the broom. Sweep it up.

HARRY:

(OFF) Maude?

SOUND:

MAUDE'S FOOTSTEPS STOP

MAUDE:

(TENSE) Yes?

HARRY:

(OFF) Don't bother about it now. Come here to me, will ya?

MAUDE:

No!

HARRY:

(OFF, CONFUSED) What?

MAUDE:

(STAMMERS) I mean, it's glass; I'd better sweep it up.

SOUND:

MAUDE'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY BEHIND--

MAUDE:

I'll only be a minute.

HARRY:

(OFF, GOOD-NATURED) Okay.

SOUND:

MAUDE'S FOOTSTEPS INTO KITCHEN

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I went into the kitchen, glad to be alone for a minute -- safe for a minute! I knew with a dull, sick realization that - I was afraid of my husband. Afraid of Harry!

HARRY:

(OFF) Want me to do it for ya?

SOUND:

MAUDE'S FOOTSTEPS RETURN TO TABLE BEHIND--

MAUDE:

No! No, I can do it. I'll sweep it up.

SOUND:

BROKEN GLASS SWEPT UP

HARRY:

Maude? Don't go into work today. Stay home and rest. You don't look well.

MAUDE:

Oh, but I am! I - I want to go into work.

HARRY:

(RELENTS) All right. If you're sure. (GENUINELY) Anything you want.

MUSIC:

IN BG, OUT AT [X]

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) He was being good to me again. Too good to me. Anything I wanted. Anything! Anything! I didn't trust him. He was too kind. His lips moved with honeyed words, but-- Well, what was on his mind? [X]

HARRY:

(WARMLY) I love you.

MAUDE:

Do ya?

HARRY:

(LIGHTLY) Why, don't you know I do?

MAUDE:

(NERVOUS CHUCKLE) Of course. Of course I do.

HARRY:

You'll be home right after work?

MAUDE:

I-- Yes.

HARRY:

Maybe we'll go to a movie or something. Would you like that?

MAUDE:

We'll see.

HARRY:

All right. We'll see.

MUSIC:

OMINOUS ACCENT ... THEN DOWN BEHIND--

SOUND:

CITY TRAFFIC

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) He walked me to the Eighth Avenue subway like he always did. And when he kissed me goodbye, a slim tremor of fear went through me.

HARRY:

(GOOD-NATURED) See you tonight, darling!

SOUND:

CITY TRAFFIC UP, TO FILL A PAUSE ... THEN FADES OUT BEHIND--

MUSIC:

UP, THEN IN BG

SOUND:

CLACK-CLACK! OF TYPEWRITER IN BRIEFLY BEHIND--

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I took three letters that morning. I typed them automatically, but -- inside my head, one thought kept repeating, repeating! "I'm afraid of Harry. I'm afraid. My husband is gonna kill me! I know because I dreamed it last night! Only - I'm not sure it was dream! Maybe it was a warning. A warning! My husband is gonna kill me! Kill me!"

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A LONG ACCENT/TRANSITION ... THEN FADES OUT BEHIND--

SOUND:

DRUGSTORE LUNCH COUNTER BACKGROUND ... CROWD AND CLINKING OF UTENSILS, ET CETERA

COUNTERMAN:

(CALLS OUT AN ORDER) Fry two, lookin' at the moon! Wheat down! (LOWER, TO MAUDE) What'll it be, lady?

MAUDE:

Ham on rye. Coffee.

COUNTERMAN:

Comin'. (CALLS) Ham on rye!

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) The drugstore was full of hungry, busy people reading the daily paper. The paper that screamed the hurts and the pains and the troubles of other people! But not me. Not Maude Haskin. And there was nothing in it about an ice pick murder and Harry's picture. (CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY) I began to feel a little foolish.

SOUND:

PLATE SET ON COUNTER

COUNTERMAN:

Here ya are, lady -- ham on rye, java on its way.

MUSIC:

IN BG ... WITH A SERIOUSNESS BELYING MAUDE'S JOY

MAUDE:

(NARRATES, GREATLY RELIEVED) I'd - I'd fallen asleep on a park bench and I'd had a dream. That was all. Just a nightmare. Afraid? (LAUGHS) Afraid of Harry? Why, I'd let a silly dream play tricks with me. I - I wanted to push the minutes ahead so I could go home -- go home to Harry.

SOUND:

CLACK-CLACK! OF TYPEWRITER IN BG

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I kept looking at the clock. Four, four-thirty, four-thirty-five. I wanted to get home and tell him I was all right! I was all right, now. Four-forty-five, four-fifty. Five o'clock!

SOUND:

TYPING ENDS AS SHEET OF PAPER IS YANKED OUT OF TYPEWRITER

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) This time, I knew I wasn't dreaming!

SOUND:

MAUDE'S RUNNING FOOTSTEPS IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) This time I could run --- run fast -- all the way from the subway to Sixty-Ninth and down and home and-- Harry would be there! Down Sixty-Ninth and - and up those brownstone steps, I climbed one flight, two flights, out of breath, hurrying; one more! One more.

MUSIC:

A SMALL ACCENT

WOMAN:

'Scuse me, dearie. Do you know where I can find the landlady?

MUSIC:

A BIG ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

MAUDE:

(NARRATES, GRIM) It was that woman. The small dark woman with eyes like two shiny brown--

WOMAN:

(REPEATS) Do you know where I can find the landlady?

MAUDE:

(SHAKEN) What? [X] What did you say?

WOMAN:

Ya live here, dearie?

MAUDE:

Yes, yes, I--

WOMAN:

Well, well, tell me then. Do you happen to know if there's any vacancies?

MAUDE:

(STARTS TO PANIC) Vacancies? No. No! (CALMS DOWN) I'm - I'm sure there aren't.

WOMAN:

Oh, me and me husband's been looking for weeks. What a job. Do you know if anybody's planning to move out, dearie? Soon maybe?

SOUND:

MAUDE'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... CONTINUES IN BG

WOMAN:

(FADES) Say, where are you going? Say-- (TO HERSELF) Well, can you beat that?

MUSIC:

FADES IN DURING ABOVE ... THEN IN BG, FADES OUT AT [X]

SOUND:

MAUDE'S FOOTSTEPS SLOW TO AN EVEN PACE ... CONTINUES IN BG

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) That woman in my dream -- who'd been living in our apartment. What was she doing here? Maybe it'd been more than a dream. Maybe I was thrown ahead into seven tomorrows. To next Wednesday. Maybe by then she'd have her apartment. Just like in my dream! And - and then I'd--!

SOUND:

APARTMENT DOOR SLAMS SHUT

HARRY:

(OFF) Darling? That you?

MAUDE:

(TENSE) Yes. [X] Yes, Harry.

HARRY:

(MOVES CLOSER, CHUCKLES) Got a kiss for me? (CHUCKLES) That a girl. You're home early.

MAUDE:

I hurried.

HARRY:

Didja? So did I; I missed you terribly. Come on in. I got a surprise.

MAUDE:

What kind of a surprise?

HARRY:

(PLAYFUL) Never mind. (MORE SERIOUS) Aw, Maude. Don't ever go very far away again, will ya?

MAUDE:

No. No, Harry, I - I won't.

HARRY:

Good. Now, you wait here. (MOVING OFF) I'll be only a minute.

MUSIC:

IN BG ... PENSIVE

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I kept thinking. Not a dream. Not just a dream, but a warning. A warning! Oh, but - but that was silly; it couldn't be. It--

SOUND:

CHIP-CHIP-CHIP! OF ICE PICK ... CONTINUES IN BG

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I heard the sound of-- I couldn't be sure, but it sounded like-- I felt the blood rush up to my face and I - I began to shake all over. I walked into the kitchen.

SOUND:

MAUDE'S FOOTSTEPS WALK INTO KITCHEN ... ICE PICK LOUDER

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) Harry was bent over a small bowl. I could see the muscles under his thin shirt move up and down as his arm rose and fell again and again, and in his hand he held an ice pick!

MUSIC:

UP FOR A BIG ACCENT ... WHICH FADES OUT BY [X]

MAUDE:

(NERVOUS CRY)

HARRY:

(STARTLED) Maude! What is it? What's the matter?

MAUDE:

(SHUDDERS) I-- I-- Nothing. [X] (STEELS HERSELF) Nothing. What are you doing?

HARRY:

Now, why did you come in? This was gonna be a surprise. You're not angry because I spent the money, are ya? We've got to celebrate.

MAUDE:

No. No, I'm not angry.

HARRY:

(DISAPPOINTED) Wish you hadn't come in, though. You spoiled it.

MAUDE:

I'm sorry.

HARRY:

(LAUGHS IT OFF) I didn't mean it. Doesn't matter. Nothing matters as long as you're here.

SOUND:

CLINK OF ICE PICK AGAINST BOWL

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) He put the ice pick beside the bowl and he took me in his arms. And all the time he kept telling me he loved me, I was looking -- fascinated -- at the ice pick; thin and sharp.

(THINKING HARD) The ice pick. Spoil his surprise. Yes. Yes, I'd spoil it.

He thought he was gonna kill me. But I wasn't gonna let him. I wasn't gonna let him.

HARRY:

Gee, I love you. I love you.

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I'd smother the lying words in his throat before he could say them again. I'd been warned! And I wasn't gonna let him do it! I - I reached out and I felt my fingers creep around the handle of the ice pick. I was strong and safe now.

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN ... WITH A CALMNESS THAT BELIES THE MURDEROUS INTENT

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) That dream wasn't gonna come true! I'd make sure! I held it tightly. And I raised it behind his back and I saw it over his shoulder -- poised like a serpent ready to strike. Ready. Ready.

HARRY:

Darling, I love you. I--

SOUND:

ICE PICK PLUNGES INTO HARRY'S NECK

HARRY:

(GASPS)

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG

SOUND:

HARRY STAGGERS

HARRY:

(GROANS, IN BG)

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I'd done it. I put all my strength into that blow and the ice pick half-disappeared into him.

HARRY:

(UNCOMPREHENDING) Maude--? Maude, I-- (GROANS)

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) His arms, still around me, grew limp. I felt them slide heavily. Big hands dragging at my body as he desperately tried to stay on his feet. His long fingers clutched at my belt and he tore it from me.

SOUND:

BELT TORN OFF

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) And then he fell, still holding it in his hand.

SOUND:

HARRY'S BODY COLLAPSES TO FLOOR

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) He was - he was at my feet -- a red circle of blood on his white shirt and, in that circle, the ice pick.

MUSIC:

UP FOR A BIG ACCENT ... THEN OUT WITH--

SOUND:

DISTANT AIRPLANE ENGINE FADES IN AND OUT BEHIND--

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) No one saw me leave the house. It was a clear, cold night. Overhead, a plane made its way past the stars. I remember looking up at it and thinking, "You can't even see me. You don't even know I'm here. And that I've just killed my husband and left him lying dead on the kitchen linoleum."

MUSIC:

SOMBER ... IN BG

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) But I knew. And, somehow, I didn't care. All I kept thinking was, "Not me. Not me! It wasn't me lying dead with an ice pick in my back! I'd been cleverer than he! I'd done it first!"

(WEARILY) I - I stumbled into the park. And then I dropped from exhaustion.

I slept all night on the grass.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) In the morning, I remembered. But I was too sick to care. I was almost sorry I woke up. I didn't want ever to wake up.

SOUND:

MAUDE'S FOOTSTEPS ON GRASS

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) I started to walk again. I kept on walking until I couldn't go any more. There was a bench. I sat down. Someone had been there before and left a newspaper. I picked it up and I read it.

SOUND:

PAPER RUSTLES

MUSIC:

SWEEPS IN

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) And then I knew!

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG

MAUDE:

(NARRATES) As big and bold as life or death, it mocked me! "ICE PICK MURDER!" And the words -- "killer," "bloody," "motive" -- jumped crazily on the page! And - and Harry's picture, just as it had been in my dream; only this time, I read on.

(READS) "Harry Haskin dead; murdered. Police searching for wife Maude Haskin."

(SOBS) And then I knew! Harry never wanted to kill me! Harry loved me! I tried to run away from a dream -- just a dream, but I made it live -- and now Harry was dead!

MUSIC:

ACCENT, SWEEPING US FORWARD TO THE PRESENT ... THEN OUT

MAUDE:

(SOBS) I wanted to tell you how it was, Father, because it's so hard to believe it happened to me. Pray for me. I know now what wrong I've done. The dream has come true. It's Wednesday again, isn't it, Father?

SOUND:

PRISON CELL DOOR OPENS

MAUDE:

Maude Haskin -- in a prison cell because I killed my husband! I had to tell someone, Father. Will you pray for me?

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS OUT OF THE CELL

PRIEST:

(QUIETLY) The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me ... (CONTINUES IN BG)

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN ... EERIE

MAUDE:

(TO HERSELF) A week ago Wednesday. I wonder if she's still there -- the woman with eyes like two shiny brown buttons -- reading about us in the paper. I wonder if she's there now.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

Roma Wines have brought you Miss Nancy Kelly as star of "A Week Ago Wednesday," tonight's study in--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE!

BRADLEY:

This is Truman Bradley for Roma Wines, the sponsor of SUSPENSE. This is the time of the year when unexpected guests and old friends drop in for surprise visits and joyous reunions. To make the evening more pleasureful, famed hostess Elsa Maxwell makes this suggestion. Serve guests a wine that adds warmth to the welcome. Such a delightful wine is red, red Roma California port -- a heartening wine; a gracious wine that adds so much to the enjoyment of an evening with friends. Roma port is vibrant with the rich brilliance of a precious ruby, the softness of velvet, with the fruity fragrance of the fresh grape, and a delicious nectar-like taste of natural sweetness. Roma port is a proud wine in a family of California's finest; a true wine, always unvaryingly good; priced so reasonably low. Try Roma port soon, won't you? That's R-O-M-A, Roma port.

ANNOUNCER:

Nancy Kelly will soon be seen in the Paramount picture "Follow That Woman." Next Thursday, same time, Roma Wines will bring you Mr. Glenn Ford as star of--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE! Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills! Presented by Roma Wines, R-O-M-A, made in California for enjoyment throughout the world.

MUSIC:

THEME

ANNOUNCER:

This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.