Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Superman
Show: "Batman's Great Mystery" Chapter 5
Date: Feb 07 1948

CAST:
Narrator, a commanding voice
Announcer
Clark Kent/Superman
Bruce Wayne/Batman
Heavyset, a thug
Lou, a thug
Inspector Henderson, of the Metropolis police
Alfred, faithful British butler
Clerk, prissy hotel desk clerk
Voices of Crowd

NARRATOR:

Faster than a speeding bullet!

SFX:

GUNSHOT, WITH RICOCHET

NARRATOR:

More powerful than a locomotive!

SFX:

TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS, LOCOMOTIVE RUMBLES

NARRATOR:

Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound!

SFX:

LOUD RUSH OF AIR ... CONTINUES IN BG

NARRATOR:

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird!

VOICE:

It's a plane!

NARRATOR:

It's Superman!

SFX:

LOUD RUSH OF AIR ... UP AND OUT

MFX:

SAMMY TIMBERG'S "SUPERMAN" THEME ... ORGAN ... THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

Yes, it's Superman, strange visitor from the planet Krypton, who came to Earth with amazing physical powers far beyond those of mortal men. And who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, wages a never-ending battle for truth and justice.

MFX:

THEME UP, THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

Today, with Superman unaware of his predicament, young Dick Grayson, otherwise known as Robin, responds to a summons from Batman and enters a room of a shabby hotel where he finds two men waiting for him -- with guns!

MFX:

DRAMATICALLY OUT

HEAVYSET:

Come right in, sonny boy.

LOU:

Keep ya hands up.

HEAVYSET:

Close the door, Lou.

SFX:

DOOR CLOSED

HEAVYSET:

Batman promised ya a surprise, didn't he? (CHUCKLES) Well, this is it, kid. But I don't think you're gonna like it!

MFX:

STING AND CURTAIN

ANNOUNCER:

All right, gang! Get set now for more Superman contest winners! You may be among these, so listen carefully! (PROCEEDS TO READ THE NAMES AND HOME TOWNS OF A LONG LIST OF CONTEST WINNERS FROM ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES -- FOR OVER A MINUTE AND A HALF!) And that's all for now! More, later in the program, so -- keep listening!

MFX:

THEME ... THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

And now -- The Adventures of Superman! ... After disappearing mysteriously for almost two weeks, the famous Batman apparently reappeared in the Metropolis Auditorium and delivered a rabble-rousing, un-American speech.

Then confronted by Robin, his young companion, Batman struck the bewildered youngster, knocking him out.

A short time later, Robin, having been brought home by Superman, received a telephone call apparently from Batman, who told him to come alone to a shady hotel on the waterfront, where he would explain his strange actions, and when Robin arrived there, he walked into an ambush.

Meanwhile, unaware of this latest development, Superman, disguised as reporter Clark Kent, was at the opera house in Willow Falls, thirty miles away, where Batman was delivering another speech.

MFX:

GENTLY OUT

SFX:

CROWD NOISE ... CONTINUES IN BG

NARRATOR:

As he left the stage and walked into the wings, followed by the applause of the crowd, Kent stepped forward to meet him.

KENT:

Just a minute, Batman!

BATMAN:

Kent?! What are you doing here?

KENT:

I want to talk to you.

BATMAN:

Yeah? What about?

KENT:

About Robin, and other things.

BATMAN:

Look, I haven't time to discuss this.

KENT:

You're to take time. You and Robin have been as close as brothers. You practically brought him up!

BATMAN:

Well? What are you getting at?

KENT:

A few hours ago at the Metropolis Auditorium, you struck him and knocked him out.

BATMAN:

So what? Little punk asked for it.

KENT:

It's not like you, Batman. You never slugged Robin before or talked like this about him. What's more, you never made rabble-rousing, un-American speeches before. Something very fishy going on and I intend to find out what it is.

BATMAN:

Look, Kent, I don't intend to stand here and argue with you. I told you I'm expecting some phone calls at my hotel. Good night.

SFX:

BATMAN'S FOOTSTEPS START OFF ... BUT KENT GRABS HIM AND DRAGS HIM BACK

KENT:

No you don't, Batman. You're gonna stay right here until we straighten this out.

BATMAN:

Take your hands off me, Kent, or--

KENT:

Or what? Will you try to slug me, too?

BATMAN:

Yes. I might forget myself and do just that.

KENT:

That wouldn't be smart, would it, considering who I am?

BATMAN:

If you think I'm afraid of you just because you're a reporter for a big newspaper, you're crazy.

KENT:

Well, I didn't mean that; because I'm a reporter.

BATMAN:

What did you mean, then?

KENT:

Don't you know?

BATMAN:

No. I don't know what you're talking about and I don't care. I'm going to the Willow Falls Hotel.

KENT:

Wait a minute!

MFX:

STING ... THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

Steel fingers locked on the bat-like costume of the man's arm, Kent holds him fast, and there's a strange expression in his eyes as he gazes into the masked face before him. Then he hears his own voice, the voice of Superman, talking to him.

SUPERMAN:

(ON FILTER) Batman is the only man in the world who knows that I, Superman, am Clark Kent. But this man doesn't know it.

MFX:

DRAMATICALLY OUT

BATMAN:

Say, what's the matter with you?

KENT:

So, I was right!

BATMAN:

What do you mean? Take your hands off me, Kent!

KENT:

First, I thought you were acting this way because you were afraid of Jones, the man who said he knew Batman's real identity. But now I think I've got this situation figured out.

BATMAN:

You amuse me, Kent. Keep on talking.

KENT:

Later. Go on to your hotel.

SFX:

KENT'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY

KENT:

(MOVING OFF) I'll be seeing you again, very soon.

MFX:

BRIEF SOMBER BRIDGE

SFX:

TRAFFIC NOISE, IN BG

KENT:

(QUIETLY, TO HIMSELF) Hmm. It's dark enough in this alley, I guess. (WITH EFFORT) So out of these clothes. I need Inspector Henderson's help in a hurry. I can get back to Metropolis in two shakes as ...

SUPERMAN:

... SUPERMAN! There we are. All set now. (LOUD) UP AND AWAY!

SFX:

LOUD RUSH OF AIR

MFX:

BRIDGE

KENT:

I tell you, Inspector, I know what I'm talking about. Either Batman is mentally ill -- Jones may have done something to him to affect his mind -- or else that man in the costume is not Batman!

HENDERSON:

Not Batman? Why, that's ridiculous, Kent!

KENT:

I know it sounds fantastic, Inspector, because this fellow certainly looks and talks exactly like Batman. But-- Well, I - I put him to a test.

HENDERSON:

Yeah? What kind of a test?

KENT:

There's, uh, a certain secret which only Batman and I know.

HENDERSON:

Yeah?

KENT:

That masked man doesn't know it!

HENDERSON:

Hmm. What is the secret?

KENT:

I can't tell you, but take my word for it, Inspector, the real Batman couldn't possibly forget it! That is, unless he was mentally ill.

HENDERSON:

I see.

KENT:

Look, you have a record of Batman's fingerprints, haven't you?

HENDERSON:

Certainly, certainly.

KENT:

Fine. Now, this guy who says he's Batman is staying at the Willow Falls Hotel tonight. That's only thirty miles away.

HENDERSON:

Mm hm.

KENT:

So why don't you find some excuse for walking in on him and then picking up a sample of his fingerprints? Then you can check them with the prints in your file.

HENDERSON:

Well, I suppose I could do that.

KENT:

Do it, Inspector! If the prints match, we'll know he's the real Batman, but he's mentally sick. And if they don't match--

HENDERSON:

Oh, but it all seems so ridiculous, Kent.

KENT:

I know, but--

HENDERSON:

How could a phony -- clever as he may be -- do such a perfect job of impersonation that could fool even Robin?

KENT:

I don't know. I've heard that everyone in the world is supposed to have a double somewhere.

HENDERSON:

Yeah, I've heard that, too, but you can't--

KENT:

Well, this fellow could look enough like Batman naturally not to need much fixing.

HENDERSON:

Mm.

KENT:

And he could be trained to imitate his voice, his manners, and so forth.

HENDERSON:

But who would go to all that trouble, and why?

KENT:

Fanatics! And we're dealing with a bunch of isolationist fanatics here. Fanatics who'll go to any amount of trouble to gain their selfish ends. And then there's another thing.

HENDERSON:

What's that?

KENT:

Bru-- Uh, Batman is a very rich man. If he were out of the way, an impersonator could make off with a fortune.

HENDERSON:

Uh huh. Hey, that makes sense. Now maybe you've got something, Kent.

KENT:

You'll go through with the fingerprint test, Inspector?

HENDERSON:

Well, I can only do it on one condition, Kent.

KENT:

What's that?

HENDERSON:

That someone closely connected with Batman -- in this case, Robin -- makes an official complaint, including a statement of his belief that the real Batman has met with foul play, and is now being impersonated.

KENT:

Okay! Robin'll do that! Come on, Inspector, we'll go out to his house right now.

MFX:

BRIDGE

KENT:

Where's Robin, Alfred?

ALFRED:

I don't know, Mr. Kent, sir.

KENT:

What?

ALFRED:

He left about an hour ago, after receiving a phone call. In a jolly hurry he was, too.

KENT:

I don't like that.

HENDERSON:

Uh, where did he go, Alfred?

ALFRED:

All he would tell me, Inspector, is that he was going to meet a man on the waterfront somewhere.

KENT:

On the waterfront?!

ALFRED:

Yes, sir, and the way he was gaily chirping and singing, I'm rather sure it was Batman who called him.

HENDERSON:

Batman?

KENT:

Did he say that?

ALFRED:

No, sir, he wouldn't say, sir. But when I asked him if it was Batman he was going to meet, he simply winked and said, "Mustn't talk, Alfred. But everything's all right again now."

KENT:

Well, that's funny. Batman is supposed to be in Willow Falls.

ALFRED:

Willow Falls, sir?

KENT:

Yes!

HENDERSON:

Say, that's right, Kent. Why should he tell Robin to meet him on the waterfront?

KENT:

He wouldn't. Unless--

HENDERSON:

Unless what?

KENT:

Unless he is a phony, as I suspect. Look, Inspector, you better get your men down to the waterfront and look for Robin.

HENDERSON:

Right.

KENT:

I'm going back up to Willow Falls to shake the truth out of that man who calls himself Batman. So long.

MFX:

BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

Racing outside the house, Clark Kent pauses behind a dark hedge and swiftly resumes his true identity of SUPERMAN!

SUPERMAN:

UP, UP AND AWAY!

SFX:

LOUD RUSH OF AIR

MFX:

STING ... THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

Then the Man of Steel leaps high into the starry sky and streaks northward, bound for Willow Falls and a shocking surprise! WE'LL BE BACK IN A MOMENT TO FIND OUT WHAT IT IS! SO KEEP LISTENING!

MFX:

UP AND OUT

ANNOUNCER:

Stand by now for more contest winners! Here they are! (PROCEEDS TO READ THE NAMES AND HOME TOWNS OF CONTEST WINNERS FROM ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES -- FOR OVER A MINUTE AND A HALF!) And that's all we have time for today, gang. Listen tomorrow at this same time.

MFX:

THEME ... THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

And now, back to The Adventures of Superman! ... After streaking to Willow Falls, Superman has secretly resumed his disguise of Clark Kent, mild-mannered and bespectacled reporter, and, as we join him now, he is speaking to the clerk in the Willow Falls Hotel.

MFX:

DRAMATICALLY OUT

KENT:

What room is Batman in, please?

CLERK:

Uh, Batman is not here, sir. He, uh, he checked out.

KENT:

Checked out? When?

CLERK:

Oh, about a half hour ago, I'd say.

KENT:

Where did he go, do you know?

CLERK:

Uh, no, sir, I don't know. As a matter of fact, I did ask him. You see, I wasn't able to hear the speech tonight, and since I'm off duty tomorrow, I was hoping I might hear him, if he was speaking somewhere nearby.

KENT:

Well, what did he say?

CLERK:

He said he'd been called away on important business, and I-- Well, he wouldn't be making any more speeches for a while.

KENT:

Hmm. Did he leave a forwarding address?

CLERK:

No, sir. No, sir, he didn't.

MFX:

STING ... THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

Dismayed, Clark Kent, who is Superman, stands in the small hotel lobby and feels utterly helpless as the true state of affairs becomes crystal clear in his mind.

KENT:

(ON FILTER, TO HIMSELF) Of course! I might have known this would happen. He is a phony. Now he's gotten rid of Robin and gone into hiding. Now what'll I do? How can I find them?!

MFX:

STING ... THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

Is Superman right in believing that the man who reappeared in Metropolis yesterday is not the real Batman, but a clever and villainous impersonator? If so, WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE REAL BATMAN?! AND TO ROBIN?!

We'll learn the answers to some of these questions in tomorrow's spine-tingling episode, fellows and girls! So be sure to listen! Tune in -- same time, same station -- for Chapter Six of "Batman's Great Mystery" on -- The Adventures of Superman!

MFX:

THEME ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

Superman is a copyrighted feature, appearing in Superman-DC Comics Magazine, and is brought to you Monday through Friday.

MFX:

TO A FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

This program came from New York. Stay tuned to your Mutual station for "Captain Midnight," which follows in just a moment. And right after "Captain Midnight," you will hear "Tom Mix and His Ralston Straight Shooters." This is the Mutual Broadcasting System.