Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Suspense
Show: Hide and Seek
Date: May 13 1962

written especially for Suspense by Bob Corcoran

CAST
ANNOUNCER
NARRATOR
"DANDY" DeANGELIS. Looking his best was the most important thing in his life.
ED BIGELOW Big-time bookmaker
LLOYD and
EARL Bigelow's "muscle"
SHOESHINE KID
HERBIE Young late night hotel clerk

MUSIC:

GONGS

ANNOUNCER:

And now... a tale well calculated to keep you in...

MUSIC

ANNOUNCER:

Suspense.

ANNOUNCER: In a moment act one of "Hide and Seek" starring ***** and written especially for Suspense by Bob Corcoran. This first portion of Suspense is brought to you by Marlboro Cigarettes.

MUSIC

ANNCR:

Why don't you settle back and have a full flavored smoke? Have a Marlboro. You get a lot to like with a Marlboro - the filter cigarette with the unfiltered taste. Try Marlboro.

MUSIC:

OUT

MUSIC:

CHORD

NARRATOR:

The lost soul cry of a lake steamer fell into the sleeping Chicago street like a wet feather. Sending out ripples of fear that washed against a dandy man who would soon die.

MUSIC UNDER:

SLOW CHICAGO JAZZ BLUES

NARRATOR:

The nerve kept jumping under his eye. His hands were sticky. He stared out the window, forcing himself to go through the routine he created. Stop at the all night cigar store no matter how late, have his shoes shined so he could go home with a clean pair. It was one of the reasons they called him "Dandy" but he wasn't enjoying it tonight and never would again. He came off the shoeshine chair like a dancer and moved to the door of the store. Nothing either way. The half dollar glittered in the light then disappeared as the boy snapped it out of the air.

DANDY:

Thanks Kid

SHOESHINE KID:

Thank you, Mr. DeAngelis.

SFX:

FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE UNDER

NARRATOR:

The street stretched ahead. Parked cars. Empty. Some old newspaper blowing. Big city tumbleweed. Dandy caught his reflection in a store window and had to stop in spite of his nervousness and desire to get away. The practiced hand rolled the brim of his hat and the Windsor knot got pushed to perfection.

DANDY:

Yeah.

NARRATOR:

No wonder they called him Dandy. Neat as a pin. Even his fingernails. Dandy thought of that afternoon and his mouth twisted in self-disgust as he cut across the street and hurried on keeping near the curb, watching the shadows. Jerk play -- like a luck-happy punk instead of a professional gambler. Just a few more blocks to go and nothing had happened. He felt a little easier. But he had to get a thousand fast. Bigelow didn't like guys who played and then didn't make good on the sour ones. He had a long list of things he didn't like and that was on top. Dandy knew that when he made the bet that afternoon.

BIGELOW:

You got it though, ain't you Dandy?

DANDY:

Yeah, sure, Ed, I just ain't got it on me.

BIGELOW:

So you picked a cruller? I want that money.

DANDY:

Sure, Ed.

BIGELOW:

I want it fast.

DANDY:

Hey, what am I, the Thief of Baghdad? I always been good, ain't I?

BIGELOW:

Yeah, you always been good, Dandy. It's just we're friends. I don't want you should welch on me, that's all.

DANDY:

I ain't no welcher.

BIGELOW:

I know a guy who was no killer. Till he knocked off a guy.

DANDY:

I won't welch, Ed.

BIGELOW:

That's good, 'cause if you did, I'd lose a friend. And all your friends would lose a friend. (pause) Permanent.

DANDY:

(Nervous laugh.) Okay. Don't worry. It's a sure thing.

MUSIC:

HURRIED

NARRATOR:

The horse finished fifth. Nowhere. But he'd get the money. Sure. Take maybe a week. Guys forget your name fast when you're broke. But, nothing to worry about. His hotel awning invited him just ahead. Maybe he'd get out of town for a few days. Not that there was anything to be afraid of. Just hedge his bet. Play it safe. He breezed into the hotel lobby. Thank God it was empty. Then the ripples of fear came back when he saw the scared-face kid at the desk.

DANDY:

What's the matter, Herbie?

HERBIE:

There's a guy waitin' for ya, he's in your room. He belted me and took the key. Told me not to tell the cops or you nuthin' But , uh, you always been nice to me.

DANDY:

All right, Herbie. It's all right. What's he look like?

HERBIE:

He's a real big guy. Fat but big.

DANDY:

Thanks, kid. I'll make it up to you later.

MUSIC:

EERIE MINOR STING

NARRATOR:

He fought to keep calm. No time to turn into a panic man. Stiff armed the door and got out into the street. His hand measured the few bills in his pocket and wondered how far they'd take him. Bigelow was closing in. Then a piece of shadow split away from the wall.

DANDY:

(audible shudder of fright)

EARL:

Hello, Dandy. Kid tell you about Bigelow's friend waitin' for you inside?

DANDY:

I.... I don't know what you're talking about.

EARL:

But not about the one waitin' outside, huh?

NARRATOR:

The man was tall and thin, skinny even. He looked as if they made his face, forgotten the mouth, and then torn one. Dandy tried to move around him.

EARL:

Let's get my buddy, then we'll go see Ed.

DANDY:

(protests)

EARL:

Move, move.

NARRATOR:

Dandy fought his fear as he watched the elevator arrow swing down. He was tall and fat. His eyes looked like someone had tried to hide two grapes in some dirty grease.

LLOYD:

You got 'im. Good.

EARL:

Yeah, he was takin' off. This punk here musta told him you was in his room.

SFX:

BRIEF, RAPID FOOTSTEPS

HERBIE:

(Cries of pain)

LLOYD:

You do that, punk? Huh?

HERBIE:

(Cries of pain.)

EARL:

Don't matter. We got 'em. Gonna keep your mouth shut about this, ain't cha?

HERBIE:

Please... (More pain.)

DANDY:

Leave him alone.

HERBIE:

(continues whimpering)

EARL:

Shut up, Dandy Man, or I won't save you for Bigelow. Kid, you say anything, and this is just a sample of what you'll get.

SFX:

PUNCH. KID FALLS.

LLOYD:

Let's go.

DANDY:

Where we going?

EARL:

Ed Bigelow wants to talk to you.

DANDY:

What's Ed want with me?

LLOYD:

You hear that, Earl?

LLOYD and EARL:

(Laugh).

MUSIC:

CHANGE OF SCENE

NARRATOR:

A comical tin shade hung over the desk. Everything had a coating of dirt. As if Bigelow had had the place sprayed with it. Dandy was very careful not to touch or rub up against anything.

BIGELOW:

Nice to see you, Dandy. 'Salways nice to see you. Always so sharp. The Dandy Man.

Suit must have cost you plenty. Me, I'm just a slob. No two hundred dollar suits for me. Ready made. Joe the Tailor, Madison. [Chuckle.] Just a slob. But I pay my debts.

(Pause) Where's the money, Dandy?

DANDY:

Well you see, Ed...

BIGELOW:

No conversation. I can get that any time with the boys here.

DANDY:

But I want to tell you...

BIGELOW:

You got the thousand? Yes or no?

DANDY:

Well, now listen, Ed...

BIGELOW:

Like he says, we don't like to be rough, Dandy. We're friends. What's the answer?

DANDY:

No I ain't got it.

BIGELOW:

(Reacts with dismay.)

DANDY:

I can get it for you, Ed. I mean I ain't no welsher. I mean, ask anyone in town.

BIGELOW:

You told me you had it.

DANDY:

I, I figured wrong.

BIGELOW:

How come you figured wrong?

DANDY:

I didn't know how far I'd gone. I'd laid out a lot of bets.

BIGELOW:

The whole roll, huh? A kiss in the dark? You took to be a winner.

EARL:

Anybody can play.

BIGELOW:

And you did it on my marker, Danny.

DANDY:

Well, not all of it.

BIGELOW:

A thousand of it. I don't like to be played for no chump. I don't like you should be gambling with my money.

DANDY:

Just, give me a week. Seven days. (Pause) Six. Five, even. (Pause) Tomorrow I'll have it.

BIGELOW:

Chicago's hard on reputations, Dandy. One guy does it to me and maybe some others think I'm losing my grip. Would be bad if word got around somebody played me for a patsy. Ain't that right, fellas?

LLOYD:

Yeah.

EARL:

Like you're saying.

BIGELOW:

Shouldn't have spread the bets so thin. Should have kept out a little. Enough to pay off Ed Bigelow.

DANDY:

I'll get it, I tell you!

BIGELOW:

Point is, you should have had it. Like you said.

DANDY:

Ah, Ed what's a thousand to you? You got ...

BIGELOW:

Ain't no use, Dandy. Like they say down at the courthouse, you gotta be made an example of.

DANDY:

You, you wouldn't kill me.

BIGELOW:

I don't want to be hard. I'll tell you what. I'll leave it up the boys.

EARL:

Plant him.

LLOYD:

Take the bloom off the Dandy Man.

BIGELOW:

Get him outta here.

MUSIC

LLOYD:

I'll take that watch, Dandy. You won't be needin' it.

EARL:

I'll match you for it.

LLOYD:

Sure. I ain't greedy.

DANDY:

So we're going to out the forest preserve, eh? A nice drive into the country.

EARL:

It's peaceful out there. You'll get a nice rest. [Chuckle]

LLOYD:

You're a card, Dandy. A joker.

EARL:

We go down Clark Street, see, to North Avenue. Then west to the country.

We park a little and then we come back. Me and Lloyd, that is.

MUSIC:

OMINOUS

NARRATOR:

Up North Avenue. Right through the old neighborhood. His mind raced ahead. Forgotten details of dirt and squalor struggled forward from the shadows where he had pushed them. The streets, the alleys... Then it hit him. The police station on Blackhawk.

If he could get out of the car, run, run to the station. He'd have to make the break when the car was moving, time it just right. There was only one street that cut into North Avenue that would do him any good. Sedgwick. Then halfway down the block, into the alley and through the vacant lot at the end. The car couldn't follow. Then a half block more to the police station and he'd be safe. Then suddenly he saw the battered old black on yellow sign as the car entered the intersection. Sedgwick.

SFX CAR DOOR OPENS, DANDY JUMPS OUT

NARRATOR:

Dandy hit the door and the street rolling, bent over into a tin newsstand then he was on his feet running.

DANDY:

(Panting.)

NARRATOR:

The car wrenched around like a giant crab and then down the street.

SFX:

TIRES SQUEAL

NARRATOR:

They didn't shoot. Dandy's hand hooked a no parking sign and he swung into the alley without slowing. Then he knew something was wrong. He looked up, saw...

DANDY:

(dismay)

NARRATOR:

There was a building at the end of the alley where the vacant lot had been.

He whirled around. The warehouse stretched back to the street on one side, the other had store backs. Solid. No fences. The backbone of the elevated track cut over the end of the alley. The dirty bulb burned on the warehouse fire escape that crawled up the side of the building like a steel vine. Dead. Just out of reach.

SFX:

FOOTSTEPS CLOP-CLOP.

NARRATOR: He pivoted and ran back to the back of the alley. Softly, softly. Hide and seek. Uh, he'd played it here before. It was a restaurant that blocked the alley

SFX:

CLANGING GARBAGE CANS

NARRATOR:

As he moved in among the garbage cans his nose wrinkled. Two shadows moved along the warehouse wall, bottling him up. There were four garbage cans, then a space, then some more. The shadow was deepest right behind them. Dandy knelt down, then slid out flat...

DANDY:

(dismay)

NARRATOR:

his soft manicured hands quivered from what he felt under them. He tried to hold his breath.

EARL:

Let's get him.

LLOYD:

Nah. He might be any place in there.

EARL:

Well you could stay here and I could look.

LLOYD:

Not too fast. I don't want to shoot at a distance. Bigelow's paying us to be sure. I want to put the gun right in the middle of that suit and burn it. If we go for him now there'd be too much noise.

EARL:

Well maybe an elevated comes along and covers the noise.

LLOYD:

Not a chance. Dandy ain't worth it.

EARL:

Yeah, that's right.

LLOYD:

There was a drugstore back where he jumped out. Call Frank and tell him to bring another guy. That'll be quiet and sure. We can go on out to the country like Bigelow wants it.

EARL:

Okay

SFX:

: : : : FOOTSTEPS.

LLOYD:

Hey wait a minute. (Hollers toward Dandy, in alley) You want to come out now? It'll be easier. If we gotta go to a lot of trouble, it's gonna make us mad.

MUSIC:

THREATENING

NARRATOR:

The skinny man took a drag on his cigarette. Dandy could see it wink and then glow bright red. The long finger flicked it in a gentle arc over the cans into the deep shadows. It hissed and went out as it hit the muck.

LLOYD:

We'll use 'em on you, Dandy. We'll cook you. A little at a time.

DANDY:

(whispering) You lousy... Stall, Stall. Pray for a break.

LLOYD:

Why don't you play it smart, Dandy? (To EARL ) Take off. If he tries to go past me the shots won't make no difference. I'll pick you up in the corner heading north.

EARL:

Okay.

LLOYD:

Hey, get some cigarettes. We wanna have plenty.

MUSIC:

STING

NARRATOR:

Then Dandy remembered. He'd get out after all. The hundred to one shot suddenly turned into a boat race. He remembered when he was a kid: the cops would come along on their way to the station. Sure... That wouldn't be changed. It was routine. Cops never change routine. They get fat on it. When the cops came he'd holler. They'd get the two who'd been pushing him around.

DANDY (chuckle) Go ahead, wait, Fat Man.

SFX:

STEPS

EARL:

Be right over. I got the cigarettes and matches. Lots of matches.

LLOYD:

He's still playing hard to get.

EARL:

He's gonna wish he hadn't.

MUSIC:

STING

NARRATOR:

Dandy grinned as he thought of the cops. And then suddenly realized how much his back ached from holding his head out of the slop and tin cans. He thought of his suit and his shirt and his hand-painted silk tie. What his friends would say if they could see Dandy DeAngelis laid out in this sewer? Smells flooded in on him. He gritted his teeth. He didn't want to lie in that too.

SFX:

EL TRAIN

NARRATOR:

It was the first time he'd ever wished he was on an elevated. But the cops'd be here any second. He didn't know what made him turn his head. He just lifted his cheek off his hand and swiveled his head around.

DANDY:

Owww!

NARRATOR:

His skin went tight all over his body. He almost screamed and jumped up but... instead he froze, and stared. Just two feet away, its head just emerging into the light, was an enormous rat.

MUSIC:

STING:

NARRATOR: He hated them. Worse than anything, he hated them. When he was a kid he had always been afraid of them. They were the old tenement, the dank hallways, with crowded rooms, the dirty smells that got into your skin and stayed there. He'd been bitten as a boy and never gotten over it.

DANDY:

(terrified) Ohh, what, what am I gonna do?

NARRATOR:

He thought he'd left all that behind him. He hadn't. Dandy DeAngelis, the Dandy Man. Lying in filth, staring at a rat. If he made a sound they'd move in on him. And then the matches, and cigarettes, and the gun in the stomach.

DANDY Hey, Dandy Boy, Easy.

MUSIC:

STING REPEAT

NARRATOR:

If it meant his life, he'd stay there with a rat.

DANDY:

Sure, what can I do? What can I do?

NARRATOR:

It moved a few inches into the light, hugging the garbage can on the other side of the open space. It was a foot long and heavy. He remembered when he was a kid and they'd kill one. The filth, into the fleas. That had been bad enough. But then, rats with dirty shadows, that hug the wall and ran. This was on the same level with him, hugging the same wall. He'd come down a long way.

LLOYD:

Any time you're ready, Danny, heh, heh, heh. I can see light playing in that mess.

NARRATOR:

There was a little breeze, and he saw the fur on its bank move. He felt sick again.

DANDY:

(gasps)

MUSIC:

EERIE

NARRATOR:

It hunched itself around. Dandy started back in spite of himself, in spite of the men waiting for him, to make a sound. It didn't run at his slight movement. Dandy held his breath. He was so close to it he could even see the rings on its tail.

DANDY:

(fear and disgust)

NARRATOR:

It moved again, this time faced right at him, its beady eyes seemed to stare right into his own. The thin-skinned ears stood upright and straight and Dandy could see the fleas crawling. It lifted its head and Dandy saw the teeth that never stop growing but get worn down and sharpened all the time. The spot on his hand where he'd been bitten as a kid started to burn.

DANDY:

(Whispers) Get away. Get away.

NARRATOR:

Dandy tried to move back. He was afraid to scare it for fear it would scuttle off over the cans and bottles and attract the two waiting to kill him. He reached out to the side and back. His right hand closed on a milk bottle. He gripped the neck, and slowly, watching the rat, brought the bottle up beside his head, his arm cocked. He stayed there, trying not to jump up and run away from it, trying to wait for it. He hadn't been watching.

LLOYD:

What's keeping those guys? They said they'd be right over.

EARL:

Take it easy. You getting anxious to get your hands on the punk, huh?

LLOYD:

And get it over with.

NARRATOR:

Danny realized with relief that he'd have heard the cops if they'd gone by. They were always loud. But they'd better hurry. He swung his head slowly back to the rat. The minute he did his skin crawled. If there was one rat, there were more. He looked to the side, dreading what he would see, but there was nothing.

DANDY:

Haaah!

NARRATOR:

It moved!

DANDY:

(gasps)

NARRATOR:

Toward him! He stopped breathing, and waited. It sat there watching him. Maybe it thought he was dead. He'd heard about dead people and rats. And maybe it wanted the warmth. It crouched there, evil, foul, staring at him.

DANDY:

Noo, noo.

NARRATOR: Dandy forgot the men in the alley with the burning cigarettes and the gun held close to his belly. He forgot the cops were going to come any minute. He just lie quietly as he was, all he could think of was that he was Dandy DeAngelis, lying there in front of a rat.

The old neighborhood was still there, waiting for him all these years. He hadn't gotten away after all.

DANDY:

Noo!

NARRATOR:

But he would get away. He swung the bottle, invisible in its speed, swung it with all his might...

DANDY:

(Swing grunt)

NARRATOR:

swung it with all the disgust and loathing and hatred

DANDY:

(swing grunt)

NARRATOR:

that he felt. Right. It hit something soft.

SFX:

WITH EACH "BEAT," SOUND

NARRATOR:

He beat it. And beat it. And beat it. And beat it.

He didn't hear them as they moved over to him, their guns at his head.

DANDY:

Finished! Finished! Free!

MUSIC:

BLUES

NARRATOR:

Dandy stopped and stood up He looked down at it as it lay in the light between the cans. It wouldn't bother him any more. The old neighborhood and the dirt and the smells sank. Sank back. Away, away. He dropped the bottle.

SFX:

BOTTLE DROP

NARRATOR:

Tried to wipe his hand.

LLOYD:

(Laughter) Look at that. Dandy killed a rat.

EARL:

Yeah. Now it's our turn.

ANNOUNCER:

Suspense.

MUSIC:

THEME OUT.