Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Suspense
Show: Cabin B-!3
Date: Nov 09 1943

CAST:
THE MAN IN BLACK, your host
ANNE BREWSTER, an American bride
RICHARD BREWSTER, her husband
DR. HEINRICH, the Austrian doctor
MR. MARSHALL, the British second officer
CAPTAIN WAINWRIGHT, the Scots ship's captain
STEWARDESS, working class British
VOICE
FIRST MAN
SECOND MAN
VOICES OF PASSENGERS AND CREW
ANNOUNCER

MUSIC:

"SUSPENSE" THEME ... AN ACCENT

THE MAN IN BLACK:

SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

ACCENT AND THEME ... CONTINUES IN BG

THE MAN IN BLACK:

This is the Man in Black, here to introduce Columbia's program, SUSPENSE. In Hollywood this evening, our two distinguished stars are the lovely actress Margo and the polished young actor from Holland, Mr. Philip Dorn. A story by John Dickson Carr, dealing with strange, very strange happenings aboard an ocean liner, and called "Cabin B-13," is tonight's tale of SUSPENSE.

If you have been with us before, you will know that SUSPENSE is compounded of mystery and suspicion and dangerous adventure. In this series are tales calculated to intrigue you, to stir your nerves, to offer you a precarious situation and then withhold the solution until the last possible moment. And so with "Cabin B-13" and with the performances of Margo as Anne Brewster and Philip Dorn as Dr. Karl Heinrich, we again hope to keep you in ...

MUSIC:

ACCENT

THE MAN IN BLACK:

... SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... TRANSITION TO AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

THE MAN IN BLACK:

Come now, in happier peacetime days, to a great ocean liner on the night of her departure for Europe. There she is at the West Twenty-second Street pier -- the twenty-five-thousand-ton Maurevania, of the White Planet Line.

SOUND:

SHIP'S HORN BLOWS

THE MAN IN BLACK:

Smoke from her three funnels coils up lazily in mild October air. You can see the decks, white and shiny like shoe boxes, and the string of lights along them, and the band standing by on A deck to play her out.

SOUND:

SNEAK UNDER STEAM WINCHES, CROWD NOISE, HARBOR AMBIENCE

THE MAN IN BLACK:

You can hear the murmur of an excited crowd and the rattle of the steam winches as cargo is lowered into the hold. You can see the bustle of activity and the second officer standing at the head of the gangplank, as two rather late passengers hurry through the customs shed towards that gangplank. [X]

SOUND:

HARBOR AMBIENCE CONTINUES IN BG

ANNE:

It's all right, Ricky! We're not too late!

RICHARD:

No, Anne. I thought we'd be in time.

ANNE:

(SIGHS) A honeymoon in Europe. Three whole months with nothing to worry about.

RICHARD:

(GENTLY) That's right, dear. And you've been my wife for -- let's see -- practically five hours now.

ANNE:

(LIGHTLY) I believe the correct phrase is, "Ah, it was so sudden, Mr. Brewster!" (CHUCKLES)

RICHARD:

(CHUCKLES) So sudden that we have to travel on our own passports instead of a husband-and-wife one. (AMUSED) I hope they don't think you're not an honest woman.

ANNE:

(JOKING) I'm going to act like a complete wanton, just to devil you!

RICHARD:

(CHUCKLES)

ANNE:

(MORE SERIOUS) Oh, what about our tickets, Ricky? Do we give them to that officer standing at the top of the gangplank?

RICHARD:

Why, no, honey. You keep your ticket. The cabin steward'll come around and collect it after we're under way.

ANNE:

And ... the money, Ricky?

RICHARD:

(UNEASY) Mmm. It's a lot of money, Anne, I-- Ten thousand dollars in cash. Maybe I'd better turn it in at the purser's office for safekeeping.

ANNE:

Yes. Maybe you had. (WINCES) Wait a minute, Ricky.

RICHARD:

What is it, dear?

ANNE:

(UNSTEADY) Wait. (EXHALES) Do you mind if we stand here for a second, before we go up the gangplank?

RICHARD:

Well, what's the matter? You're not ill, are you?

ANNE:

No, but-- (EXHALES) Getting over brain fever isn't any joke.

RICHARD:

Oh, I know, dear.

ANNE:

You see, Ricky, I - I ought to be eager and excited, like all those people up there, but-- Suddenly, you get fancies -- queer, sick fancies. Suddenly right now, all I can think of is the night, and the wind, and all the black water in the dark.

RICHARD:

Anne, that's exactly the kind of morbid fancy I'm trying to cure you of.

ANNE:

I know, Ricky. I - I'll be good, but-- I was just thinking of a story.

RICHARD:

What story?

ANNE:

Oh, never mind. It doesn't matter. Which way do we go?

RICHARD: Up the gangplank, through that door there, and then down in the elevator to B deck. (LIGHTLY) And no more horrors, do you understand?

ANNE:

(CHUCKLES)

SOUND:

HARBOR AMBIENCE OUT

MUSIC:

BRIEF BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS

RICHARD:

Ah, here we are, Anne. B deck, and cabin number--

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS STOP ABRUPTLY

RICHARD:

Good Lord. B-13!

MUSIC:

OMINOUS ACCENT ... THEN OUT

SOUND:

PASSENGERS MURMUR, IN BG

ANNE:

B-13?

RICHARD:

You're - not superstitious, are you?

ANNE:

Why, no, dear. Not about things like that. Open the door.

RICHARD:

Here we are.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

RICHARD:

Lights on, and--

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES, SHUTTING OUT PASSENGERS

ANNE:

(OVERWHELMED) Oh, Ricky, darling! It's a beautiful cabin!

RICHARD:

(MODEST, CASUAL) Best I could get. Oh, they've got our luggage in, anyway, and ... (MOCK SOLEMNITY) ... over there, madam, you'll find a basket of fruit and some books from your obedient servant.

ANNE:

Oh, you are nice to me. And I'm feeling so much better, Ricky. I will be all right, darling.

RICHARD:

(CHUCKLES) Well, of course you will. But, uh, you won't find any detective novels among those books.

ANNE:

(DOESN'T WANT TO DISCUSS IT) Please. Please, Ricky--

RICHARD:

Detective novels may be all right for presidents and college professors, but they're straight poison to you. You'll read love stories -- and like it.

ANNE:

You know, Ricky, I keep thinking and thinking about that story I mentioned.

RICHARD:

What story, dear?

ANNE:

It's an old one. You probably know it, but it was new to me. A woman and her daughter arrive in Paris and go to a hotel--

RICHARD:

Oh, you mean the old Paris Exposition story?

ANNE:

Yes, that's it. The daughter goes out. When she returns, her mother has disappeared and even the hotel room isn't the same. The proprietor of the hotel swears the girl came there alone, and that there never was a mother. The whole room is different when she goes back to look at it. The girl goes to the police, and they won't believe her, and she's nearly crazy. Of course, it turns out that the mother has caught bubonic plague and died, and they're hushing it up so that the visitors won't keep away from the city and ruin the whole exposition, but--

RICHARD:

Anne, you've got to stop this kind of talk.

ANNE:

I know. But imagine being in a situation like that. With all those queer eyes staring at you -- wondering if you'd lost your reason. Wondering if your brain had cracked, and the whole world might dissolve, and--

SOUND:

GENTLE CHIMING, OFF

ANNE:

Listen!

VOICE:

(OFF) All ashore that's going ashore! All ashore that's going ashore! All ashore that's going ashore! All ashore that's going ashore! (FADES OUT)

RICHARD:

(OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) That's the last call, Anne. We'll be under way any minute now.

ANNE:

You know, Ricky, I would like to see the skyline go past, and the Statue of Liberty, and the rest of it.

RICHARD:

Well, then, why not go up and and see it? I've got to deposit this money in the purser's office on C deck.

ANNE:

(NERVOUS) But-- I - I - I don't like you to leave me.

RICHARD:

Aw, now look here, dear. You don't think I'm going to disappear, do you?

ANNE:

I suppose I don't, really. When I get these ideas, and I can't help it, Ricky -- I wish you'd wallop me!

RICHARD:

(LAUGHS) I'm not going to kick you, Anne; but you've got to stop being afraid. You certainly won't disappear, in a crowded ship with any number of people all around you. As for me-- (CHUCKLES) I'd defy Houdini himself to make me vanish!

ANNE:

(SERIOUS) Don't talk like that!

RICHARD:

I'm not going to vanish and neither is this cabin, dear. Now, run along. I'll join you on deck as soon as I can.

ANNE:

All right, Ricky. I'll be good.

MUSIC:

BRIEF OMINOUS BRIDGE ... FADES WITH

SOUND:

AT SHIP'S RAIL, HARBOR AMBIENCE ... CROWD BUZZES ... IN BG

FIRST MAN:

(OFF) In with yer gangplank! In with yer gangplank!

SECOND MAN:

(OFF) Gangplank's in, sir!

FIRST MAN:

(OFF) Close the rails! Stand by!

ANNE:

(MUSES, TO HERSELF) Eager people -- excited people -- happy people. All crowding up to the rail to wave goodbye. Nothing to worry about, nothing on their minds, except...

DOCTOR:

Except what?

ANNE:

(STARTLED) Oh!

DOCTOR:

Except seasickness, madam?

ANNE:

(NERVOUS) Oh--

DOCTOR:

Oh, I beg your pardon. I hadn't meant to startle you, believe me.

ANNE:

Please don't mention it. How silly of me. It was my fault. I - I haven't been very well.

DOCTOR:

I noticed it, madam, if you'll forgive me. That was why I spoke to you. As you see by my uniform, I am the ship's doctor.

ANNE:

This is a British ship, isn't it? But you don't sound British.

DOCTOR:

No, I'm an Austrian, madam. Dr. Paul Heinrich, at your service. I'm not very popular in my own country today, the days of colored shirts and vacant minds.

ANNE:

I'm Mrs. Brewster, doctor. Anne Brewster. When does the ship go?

DOCTOR:

In about a second, Mrs. Brewster, you'll hear the whistle. Then the band will strike up "Auld Lang Syne," and then--

SOUND:

TWO BLASTS OF THE SHIP'S WHISTLE ... CROWD REACTS

ANNE:

We're moving, aren't we?

DOCTOR:

Yes. Don't you feel the vibration of the engines?

MUSIC:

BAND STRIKES UP "AULD LANG SYNE" ... CONTINUES IN BG

SOUND:

CROWD SINGS ALONG ... THEN VARIOUS VOICES CALL OUT

VOICES:

Goodbye, Tommy! Take care of yourself while I'm gone!

So long, dear, I'll see you at Christmas!

Whoa! The key to the car's in the living room table drawer!

If you go out with any blondes, Tommy, I'll kill you when I get back!

Goodbye, Mom!

The living room!

Yes, dear, of course I'll behave myself in Paris! Say, what time does the bar open aboard this tub, huh?

MUSIC:

BAND FADES OUT

SOUND:

CROWD FINISHES SONG ALONE, THEN CHEERS ... AS PASSENGERS DISPERSE, JUMBLE OF VOICES FADES OUT ... FOOTSTEPS ON DECK WHICH CONTINUE IN BG

ANNE:

(HUMMING "AULD LANG SYNE" TO HERSELF)

DOCTOR:

I imagine this is not your first crossing, madam?

ANNE:

Oh, I'm afraid it is, Dr. Heinrich. My husband's crossed many times, he tells me, but not on this ship.

DOCTOR:

Well, then I hope you're a good sailor.

ANNE:

Why, Dr. Heinrich?

DOCTOR:

Well, because we'll run into some very dirty weather, once we are out at sea. October is a very bad month for traveling.

ANNE:

(CHEERFUL) Well, if I do get seasick, doctor, I'll rush straight to you. And I'll expect to be cured!

DOCTOR:

(LAUGHS) Let me tell you a secret, madam. There are two common ailments for which medical science has no cure. One is ordinary seasickness and the other is hangover.

ANNE:

(LAUGHS)

DOCTOR:

Tomorrow morning, I shall be dealing with both.

ANNE:

And enjoying it?

DOCTOR:

Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Sympathizing with it; that's all I can do.

ANNE:

(LAUGHS)

DOCTOR:

How do you like the Maurevania?

ANNE:

Oh, it's a magnificent ship, from what I've seen of it. And, you know, they've given us a very nice cabin down on B deck. B-13.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS STOP ABRUPTLY

ANNE:

What's the matter? Why are you looking at me like that?

DOCTOR:

I beg your pardon. Did you say "B-13"?

ANNE:

Yes. Why not?

DOCTOR:

You're quite sure of that, madam?

ANNE:

Why, yes, of course, I'm sure of it. I - I saw the number on the door! Why not?

DOCTOR:

Well, because ... (HESITATES)

ANNE:

Go on, Dr. Heinrich.

DOCTOR:

Because there's no such cabin aboard this ship.

MUSIC:

BIG ACCENT ... CONTINUES IN BG

DOCTOR:

I'm not joking, Mrs. Brewster. You see, some people are superstitious. Many ships, like this one, omit number thirteen on each deck. You must have been mistaken.

ANNE:

(UNEASY) What are you trying to tell me? Do you think I saw something that wasn't there?

DOCTOR:

No, no, Mrs. Brewster, not at all. I only--

ANNE:

Then come along with me. I'll show you.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS

ANNE:

I'll prove to you that there is a number thirteen. Will you come along?

DOCTOR:

Yes, Mrs. Brewster. I think perhaps I had better escort you.

MUSIC:

BRIEF APPREHENSIVE BRIDGE

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS

ANNE:

(CALLING) Stewardess! Stewardess!

STEWARDESS:

Yes, miss? Yes, ma'am? Comin' straight away!

ANNE:

Tell me, Stewardess. This is B deck, isn't it?

STEWARDESS:

B deck, ma'am? Why, yes, ma'am. No doubt about that.

ANNE:

But Dr. Heinrich and I have been all over this part of the ship, looking for cabin number thirteen, but we don't--

DOCTOR:

I've been trying to convince this lady, stewardess, that there's no such cabin as cabin number thirteen on this ship.

STEWARDESS:

Why, there sure to heaven isn't, ma'am! And never has been! I've served aboard the Maurevania a matter of eight years, and I ought to know.

ANNE:

But I tell you, I saw it. I was in there! It was a big cabin, with a private bathroom attached. The walls were paneled in light oak, and the furniture was rosewood and yellow satin, and the portholes were like real windows.

STEWARDESS:

Oh, that's not much good, ma'am.

DOCTOR:

No, I'm afraid not. Most of the cabins hereabouts look like that. May I ask you, what name was the cabin booked in?

ANNE:

Brewster, naturally. Mr. and Mrs. Richard E. Brewster.

STEWARDESS:

Here, let's have a look on my list.

SOUND:

SHUFFLE OF PAPER

STEWARDESS:

No. No, there's no Brewster here, ma'am.

ANNE:

I tell you, I was in there! They even delivered the luggage. I saw it!

STEWARDESS:

Excuse me, ma'am. But I had a look-see in all the cabins I'm in charge of, just to see if the passengers wanted anything. And I don't remember any luggage with a "Brewster" label on it.

ANNE:

Wait a minute. There may be a partial explanation of this.

DOCTOR:

Now, you see? That's better, Mrs. Brewster. I was hoping you might find one.

ANNE:

Ricky -- that's my husband -- Ricky and I have only been married a very short time and when my maid printed the baggage labels, she-- She must have made them out in my maiden name. I never noticed at the time.

STEWARDESS:

Oh? What name might that be, ma'am?

ANNE:

Thornton. Anne Marie Thornton.

STEWARDESS:

(CHUCKLES) Oh, Lord, miss! Now, why couldn't you have said that before? I remember it well. Uh, two suitcases and a little trunk. They're in B-16 now.

ANNE:

Where is B-16?

STEWARDESS:

Right behind you, miss. You're standing practically in front of the door.

ANNE:

(RELIEVED) Oh, thank goodness. (WHEW!) Oh, yes, but, er-- What about my husband's luggage?

STEWARDESS:

There's no gentleman's luggage in that cabin, miss -- your husband's or any other gentleman's. If you know what I mean.

ANNE:

I won't stand for this! Where's Ricky?! What have you done with Ricky?!

DOCTOR:

Please, Mrs. Brewster. There's one easy way to settle this.

ANNE:

Settle it? How?

DOCTOR:

Just look down the corridor. You notice the man coming towards us? The man with the two gold stripes 'round his sleeve?

ANNE:

Well?

DOCTOR:

That's Mr. Marshall, our second officer. Did you ever see him before?

ANNE:

I-- Yes. Yes, of course I have. He was standing at the top of the gangplank when Rick and I got aboard.

DOCTOR:

Mm, exactly. So he might be able to tell us something.

ANNE:

Oh.

DOCTOR:

(CALLS) Mr. Marshall? Mr. Marshall?!

MARSHALL:

(OFF) Yes, doctor? What's up?

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

DOCTOR:

Would you mind coming here for a moment?

MARSHALL:

Why, not at all, old boy. Always glad to oblige a chap who may have to cut me up at any moment, eh? (LAUGHS) What may I do for you?

DOCTOR:

Take a good look at this young lady, and tell me -- have you seen her before?

MARSHALL:

Seen her before? Well, my dear chap, if I had overlooked -- the young lady will pardon me, I know -- a passenger as charming as this lady is, I would be less of the gentleman that I fancy myself, eh? (LAUGHS)

DOCTOR:

You saw her coming aboard tonight?

MARSHALL:

Oh, yes, certainly.

DOCTOR:

And, er, of course you saw the gentleman who was with her.

MARSHALL:

(PUZZLED) The, uh, gentleman who was with her?

ANNE:

(WILDLY) Yes! Yes! Yes!

MARSHALL:

Oh, er-- But there was nobody with her, old boy.

MUSIC:

AN ACCENT, THEN OUT

DOCTOR:

You're quite certain of that, Mr. Marshall?

MARSHALL:

My dear doctor, she was the last of 'em to come aboard. I'll take my Bible oath there was no other passenger with her. Or ahead of her or behind her, if it comes to that!

ANNE:

(UPSET) You're lying! You're lying to me!

DOCTOR:

Please, please, Mrs. Brewster, lower your voice.

ANNE:

I know what it is. It's the old Paris trick. Like in the story. But you won't get away with it, do you hear?

MARSHALL:

Now, look, here, madam--

ANNE:

I'll go to the purser. I'll go to the captain! (BREAKS DOWN COMPLETELY) Dear Father in Heaven, won't anybody believe me?! (SOBS)

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

STORM AT SEA, CONTINUES IN BG

THE MAN IN BLACK:

Later that night, in the captain's room just abaft the bridge, there is a conference of ship's officers. Outside, stung by spray, clinging to the bulkhead rail in the dark, a frightened girl waits till the door of the captain's room opens.

MUSIC:

MILD ACCENT, THEN OUT

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

CAPTAIN:

Will you bring the young lady in, Dr. Heinrich, and close the door?

DOCTOR:

Yes, sir. Here we are.

SOUND:

DOOR SHUTS ... MUFFLED STORM CONTINUES IN BG

DOCTOR:

This is Captain Wainwright. Now, just tell your story straightforwardly and, er, please don't excite yourself.

CAPTAIN:

Well, then. Maybe we can get some decision into this matter. Will you sit down here beside my desk, Miss Thornton?

ANNE:

(DEFIANT) My name is Brewster, Captain. Mrs. Anne Brewster.

CAPTAIN:

(WITH A SIGH) Whatever you say, Mrs. Brewster.

ANNE:

Thank you very much, Captain.

CAPTAIN:

I might tell you, ma'am, I've got a lot on my mind already. My first officer comes aboard with an attack of flu; I'm facing an equinoctial gale short handed; and now this has to happen on top of it.

ANNE:

I'm terribly sorry. I can't help that, Captain. But I want to know what they've done with Ricky.

CAPTAIN:

Just one moment, please, while I get this straight. By this time, I understand, you yourself have personally interviewed practically every single passenger aboard this ship. Is that true?

ANNE:

Yes. It's true.

CAPTAIN:

But your alleged husband is not here. Is that true?

ANNE:

Yes, that's true. But I--

CAPTAIN:

In the meantime, the purser has sent a squad of men to search this ship. They've searched every inch of it -- you can take my word for that. There's nobody hidden. Your husband's not here. According to Mr. Marshall, who's standing over there--

ANNE:

I see him.

CAPTAIN:

According to Mr. Marshall, he never was here.

MARSHALL:

(SHARPLY) Hang it all, Miss Thornton, you needn't glare at me like that! We couldn't see the chap if he wasn't there, now could we?!

CAPTAIN:

Be quiet, Mr. Marshall.

MARSHALL:

Yes, I - I'm sorry.

CAPTAIN:

Now, I'm - I'm not unreasonable, Mrs. Brewster. I think you'll admit that. But what can I do? What can I say? Can you offer any proof even that this husband of yours ever existed?

ANNE:

Proof? Yes, of course I can. I--

DOCTOR:

Excuse me for interrupting, but would you mind, Captain, if I asked a question or two?

CAPTAIN:

No, doctor, go ahead. I tell you, I'm going daft myself.

DOCTOR:

If you were married, Mrs. Brewster, you must be carrying a joint husband and wife passport. Where is that?

ANNE:

Well, there wasn't time to get one. We each carried our own passport.

DOCTOR:

Oh, I see. But, still, there must be someone back in America who can confirm what you say, if we got in touch by radio telephone? Your parents, for instance?

ANNE:

I haven't got any parents. They're dead.

DOCTOR:

What about relatives, then? Or a guardian?

ANNE:

My guardian is a trust company. The administrators don't even know I'm married.

DOCTOR:

But somebody must have performed the ceremony of marriage. The parson? The justice of the peace?

ANNE:

Yes, of course, of course. But-- Oh, I - I - I can't remember the name of the town.

CAPTAIN:

(DISBELIEF) You don't remember the name of the town?

DOCTOR: Hold tight to your chair, Mrs. Brewster, the ship is going to pitch again.

SOUND:

LOUD SWELL AS WAVE HITS THE SHIP

CAPTAIN:

How's the glass looking, Mr. Marshall?

MARSHALL:

Uh, oh, er-- Barometer's rising, sir. This weather won't hold long. We shall be into fog before morning, though.

CAPTAIN:

We're in a fog right now, if you ask me. This lady says she--

ANNE:

I'm terribly sorry but I - I'm trying to think of it. It was a little town in upstate New York, where they can marry you at a moment's notice. Ricky kept the certificate. I - I was confused. I haven't been well.

DOCTOR:

No, you haven't.

ANNE:

You see, Ricky had been away and - he came back and - I was in love with him, and he - he sort of swept me off my feet and-- Oh, what's the use?

MARSHALL:

Not much use, apparently.

CAPTAIN:

If you'll take my advice, ma'am, you'll go below to your cabin and get some sleep. I'll send the doctor down to mix you a sedative.

ANNE:

You think I'm crazy, don't you?

CAPTAIN:

I - I think you're a little overwrought, ma'am.

ANNE:

What I can't understand is why. Why? Why should you want to do this? It can't be the bubonic plague this time.

CAPTAIN:

Bubonic plague, ma'am? Who said anything about the bubonic plague?

ANNE:

Never mind. But I'll show you. You're all against me, except - maybe the doctor. But I'll show you. I'll prove it to you. I am going downstairs and I don't want anybody to follow me! Good night! Good night, all of you!

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES (WIND OUTSIDE BRIEFLY)

MARSHALL:

(RELIEVED) Well. I'm glad that's over.

CAPTAIN:

Look here, Mr. Marshall.

MARSHALL:

Huh?

CAPTAIN:

Do you think it's quite safe to trust her out there alone?

MARSHALL:

Oh, I dunno, sir. She's mad as a hatter, if you ask me.

CAPTAIN:

Do you think she might, er, do something foolish?

MARSHALL:

Oh, I think she might chuck herself overboard, if we're not careful.

CAPTAIN:

What's your opinion, doctor?

DOCTOR:

I can give you my opinion, gentlemen, in a very few words. That girl is as sane as you are.

CAPTAIN:

What's that?

MARSHALL:

Sane?

DOCTOR:

Wait and hear what I have to say. I shared your own belief at first. But I've been talking to her all evening. I've heard the whole story. And there's not a psychopathic trait in her nature. She firmly believes in this husband.

MARSHALL:

Yes, doctor. A lot of people firmly believe they're Napoleon. But they get tossed into loony bins just the same.

DOCTOR:

This matter is not a joke, Mr. Marshall. I tell you this man exists -- or did exist.

CAPTAIN:

What do you mean, doctor? Did exist?

DOCTOR:

Well, suppose he had been murdered. Perhaps he has been murdered and thrown overboard.

CAPTAIN:

Murdered? Thrown overboard?

DOCTOR:

If you remember, Richard Brewster was carrying a very large sum of money in cash -- his wife's wedding gift, practically all her inheritance. He meant to go to the purser's office. But he never got there. That money might have been a great temptation--

CAPTAIN:

To whom?

DOCTOR:

To a stewardess, perhaps, or even to a -- to a ship's officer.

MARSHALL:

Just exactly what are you getting at?

DOCTOR:

Well, numbers on doors can be changed easily enough. Just print a small card and put it in the metal slot on the door.

CAPTAIN:

I still want to know what you're driving at.

DOCTOR:

If you use your intelligence, gentlemen, I think you will understand how a man can be made to vanish into thin air -- and, er, why Mr. Marshall saw no other passenger. (PAUSE) You still don't see it?

CAPTAIN:

No, I do not.

DOCTOR:

Well, then, listen, and I will explain exactly how a-- (FADES OUT)

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

SOUND:

FOG HORN, BELLS, IN BG

THE MAN IN BLACK:

Four o'clock in the morning. Four o'clock -- the hour of suicides and bad dreams. The gale has subsided, the sea is calm. The S.S. Maurevania creeps blindly at barely eight knots through a thick and strangling fog. The whole ship is dark and sealed up in sleep. There's no sound in all that mournful dimness except when the foghorn cries out a warning overhead. Even Cabin B-16 is dark. Anne Brewster, still fully dressed, lies restlessly across one of the berths, her head almost touching the intercabin telephone. [X]

SOUND:

INTERCABIN TELEPHONE RINGS (FOGHORN OUT)

ANNE:

(STARTLED, GASPS) What was--? Oh. I thought I heard--

SOUND:

TELEPHONE RINGS AGAIN

ANNE:

Telephone.

SOUND:

SHE PICKS UP RECEIVER

ANNE:

Yes? Hello?

RICHARD:

(FILTER) It's me, Anne. Take it easy now.

ANNE:

Ricky! Ricky, where are you?!

RICHARD:

(FILTER) Quiet. Keep your voice down.

ANNE:

Where are you, Ricky? What happened to you? Are you hurt?

RICHARD:

(FILTER) No. I'm not hurt. But he nearly got me.

ANNE:

Who? Who nearly got you?

RICHARD:

(FILTER) Listen, dear, I can't explain over the phone, and I don't dare go down there. Can you meet me up on deck?

ANNE:

Yes, of course. Where?

RICHARD:

(FILTER) Do you know the boat deck?

ANNE:

Boat deck? Uh, which one is that?

RICHARD:

(FILTER) The top deck. Where all the lifeboats are slung.

ANNE:

Oh, yes. I know it.

RICHARD:

(FILTER) Well, go to the starboard side.

ANNE:

Yes, yes.

RICHARD:

(FILTER) That's the right-hand side facing forward. Find the fourth lifeboat from the aft companionway.

ANNE:

Yes.

RICHARD:

(FILTER) There's a thick fog and nobody'll see us--

SOUND:

LINE GOES DEAD

ANNE:

Ricky?

SOUND:

SHE RATTLES THE CRADLE

ANNE:

What is it? Ricky?

SOUND:

FOG HORN MOANS

ANNE:

(TO HERSELF) He's gone. He's gone!

SOUND:

KNOCK AT DOOR ... DOOR OPENS IMMEDIATELY

STEWARDESS:

(COMING IN) Excuse me, miss, but I thought I heard somebody talking in here.

ANNE:

(SURE OF HERSELF NOW) Stewardess, what are you doing up at this time of the night?

STEWARDESS:

If I might ask, miss, what are you doing up and dressed? Oh, you ought to get some sleep, miss. You really ought.

ANNE:

It might interest you to know, stewardess, that I've just been talking to my husband.

STEWARDESS:

Now, look here, miss. Don't start that all over again. Please, don't start that all over again.

ANNE:

You all pretended to think I was mad, didn't you? And you nearly drove me mad. But Ricky's beaten the whole crowd of you and I'm going out on deck to meet him now!

STEWARDESS:

Out on deck, miss?

ANNE:

That's what I said. Where's my coat?

STEWARDESS:

Don't go out there, miss. Not in the state of mind you're in. And the fog so thick, you can't hardly see your hand in front of your face.

ANNE:

Stand away from the door, please.

STEWARDESS:

(POINTED) Suppose, miss, I didn't want to let you go out there?

ANNE:

I don't think that would matter much. You've probably heard that mad people have ten times ordinary strength and I'm stronger than you anyway.

STEWARDESS:

Miss, I'm a-beggin' ya--

ANNE:

Stand away from that door!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

FOG HORN MOANS ... OCEAN WATER AMBIENCE TILL END OF PLAY ... ANNE'S FOOTSTEPS ON DECK, CONTINUE IN BG

ANNE:

(COUNTS LIFEBOATS) One ... two ... the third--

RICHARD:

(OFF) Anne?

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS STOP

RICHARD:

(OFF) Is that you?

ANNE:

Yes. Ricky? Ricky darling, where are you?

RICHARD:

(OFF) Here. Duck your head under the lifeboat. Here, take my hand.

ANNE:

But isn't it horribly dangerous out there on the edge? There's no - no railing along the side of the ship.

RICHARD:

Don't worry, Anne, I won't let you fall.

SOUND:

ANNE TRIPS OVER AN IRON WEIGHT

RICHARD:

Look out!

ANNE:

(STARTLED CRY)

SOUND:

RICHARD CATCHES HER

RICHARD:

(RELIEVED) Oh, if you went overboard here--! We're well aft, near the propellers. The suction would carry you into the propeller blades, and--

SOUND:

FOG HORN BLOWS

RICHARD:

(HUSHED) Listen!

ANNE:

I can't hear anything except the foghorn.

RICHARD:

Yeah, but I can.

SOUND:

DISTANT FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

RICHARD:

There's somebody walking along the deck. And I can see a flashlight moving in the fog.

ANNE:

(STARTLED GASP AT DOCTOR'S LINE)

DOCTOR:

(FADING IN, GRIM) You're quite right, my friend. You can see a flashlight moving in the fog.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS COME CLOSE AND STOP

ANNE:

Dr. Heinrich, what are you doing here?

DOCTOR:

At the moment, young lady, I'm covering both of you with a revolver. Please don't move.

ANNE:

So, you were in the conspiracy, Dr. Heinrich.

DOCTOR:

May I ask you what conspiracy?

ANNE:

The whole ship's conspiracy to say Richard Brewster didn't exist.

DOCTOR:

My dear young lady, you can set your mind at rest. There never was any ship's conspiracy against you. The people you spoke to were perfectly honest.

ANNE:

(SKEPTICAL) Including Mr. Marshall, I suppose.

DOCTOR:

Yes, including Mr. Marshall.

RICHARD:

Anne, what is this all about?

DOCTOR:

(SHARPLY) Stand back there!

ANNE:

I suppose he was telling the truth when he said nobody came up the gangplank before or after me?

DOCTOR:

I beg your pardon. That was not what he said. He said no passenger came up the gangplank [with you] at this time.

ANNE:

Well? What's the difference?

DOCTOR:

A great crime was arranged for tonight, young lady. No less a crime than murder.

ANNE:

Murder? Who's going to be murdered?

DOCTOR:

You are.

ANNE:

What?

DOCTOR:

That, I repeat, is the scheme. But there is no conspiracy and only one criminal.

ANNE:

Oh. And who is the criminal?

DOCTOR:

The criminal is that man standing beside you. Your so-called husband.

MUSIC:

AN ACCENT ... THEN OUT

ANNE:

(DISBELIEF) Ricky?! Oh, you don't know what you are saying!

DOCTOR:

I think I do. Marshall, of course, did see someone walk up the gangplank -- loitering behind you. But he never dreamt of associating that person in any way with you. He saw a ship's officer, returning from shore leave in civilian clothes.

ANNE:

A ship's officer?

DOCTOR:

Yes. That man you call husband, his name isn't Richard Brewster. His real name is Blaney, and he's the first officer of the Maurevania.

ANNE:

Are you trying to tell me that my--?

DOCTOR:

The captain can identify him. He's actually British, though he can fake an American accent very well. He has already got a wife in England, and he's planning to join her with the ten thousand dollars he got from you.

ANNE: I don't believe it! I don't! Ricky, why don't you say something?

DOCTOR:

Oh, he planned it very cleverly, I must admit. He never let you know he was a ship's officer, did he? He's been away for some time, naturally, so he persuaded you to marry him in a hurry.

ANNE:

Ricky, Ricky, is this true?

DOCTOR:

Here's the money, you see? All he did was hang a dummy number on the cabin door, remove it later, put on his uniform, and walk away with his own luggage.

ANNE:

But Captain Wainwright told us that the first officer had come aboard tonight with--

DOCTOR:

With a bad attack of flu, yes. Our friend couldn't be seen in public until after he'd disposed of you. The best thing was to convince everybody you were insane -- as he did. Then, when you went overboard tonight--

ANNE:

(REALIZES, SLOWLY) They would all believe it was suicide.

DOCTOR:

Exactly. But I began to suspect this "Brewster" because you quoted him as telling such an obvious lie. He said he had never traveled on the Maurevania, yet he could direct you all over the ship. And even knew where the purser office was. So I went to his cabin, found it empty, searched, and found your ten thousand dollars.

RICHARD:

Why, you--!

ANNE:

(SCREAMING) Look out, Dr. Heinrich!

DOCTOR:

Put it down you fool, put it down!

SOUND:

THREE GUNSHOTS

RICHARD:

(RECEDING SCREAM AS HE FALLS OVERBOARD)

SOUND:

SPLASH! THEN, IN BG, RICHARD FLAILS IN THE WATER

ANNE:

He's overboard! (STUNNED) You've shot him! (BEAT) You shot him.

DOCTOR:

Those shots, my dear, never touched him.

ANNE:

Never touched him?

DOCTOR:

No. The weight of the iron carried him over backwards when he lifted it. It was the weight he was going to use to sink your body.

ANNE:

[But they'll pick him up, won't they? They'll stop the ship, and ...]

SOUND:

BRIEF DISTANT SPLASHING, SIMULTANEOUS WITH--

RICHARD:

(DISTANT GIBBERING SCREAMS -- FINALLY CHOKED IN BUBBLING WATER)

ANNE:

(OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) Ricky! The propellers! The ship's propellers!

DOCTOR:

Yes. They suck you under.

ANNE:

(WEEPS) Oh, doctor! Doctor, I can't stand this. I can't stand this.

DOCTOR:

(WITH SOOTHING FINALITY) It won't be easy, my dear. It won't be easy, I know, but-- Believe me, this - this way is better.

SOUND:

FOGHORN, WHICH BLENDS WITH--

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH

THE MAN IN BLACK:

And so closes "Cabin B-13," starring Margo and Philip Dorn, tonight's tale of ...

MUSIC:

ACCENT

THE MAN IN BLACK:

... SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

"SUSPENSE" THEME ... IN BG

THE MAN IN BLACK:

With our two stars tonight were Dennis Hoey as Captain Wainwright and William Johnstone as Ricky Brewster. This is the Man in Black, who conveys to you Columbia's invitation to spend this half hour in suspense with us again next week, same time, when our star will be one of the screen year's most sensational newcomers, Mr. Gene Kelly. Mr. Kelly will be supported by Hans Conried and William Johnstone. The producer and director of SUSPENSE is William Spier, who with Lud Gluskin and Lucien Moraweck, conductor and composer, and John Dickson Carr, the author, collaborated on tonight's SUSPENSE.

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE fans, please note that these programs will shortly move to different days of the week. SUSPENSE will come to listeners in Eastern and Central time zones on Thursdays beginning December the second, and to Mountain and Pacific time zone listeners on Monday beginning December the sixth. Remember, Thursday beginning December the second in Eastern and Central time zones, and Mondays beginning December the sixth in the Pacific and Mountain time zones, for ... SUSPENSE.

This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.