Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Lights Out
Show: Spider
Date: Jun 08 1938

VOICE:

Lights out, everybody!

TWELVE CHIMES - WIND UP ON ELEVENTH - ALL OUT WITH

GONG

SOUNDS OF JUNGLE, THAT IS, INSECTS, THE RAUCOUS CALL OF JUNGLE BIRDS, ETC., IN FULL FOR A FEW SECONDS THEN FADE BACK BEHIND

VOICE:

(IN CLOSE - PORTENTIOUSLY) The jungles of the upper Amazon..

BRING UP THE SOUND OF THE JUNGLE FOR A FEW SECONDS AS TRANSITION THEN FADE SLOWLY BACK AND HOLD FAR, FAR BACK BEHIND THE FOLLOWING-

JOE:

(AMERICAN) (FAR BACK-CALLING) Frenchie! Frenchie!

FRENCHIE:

(GRUMPILY)-(DEFINITE FRENCH ACCENT) You don't have to shout - I hear you......

JOE:

(FADE IN - EXCITEDLY) Frenchie, look! Look at this one! (IN FULL) Look at it, I tell ya!

FRENCHIE:

(SCORNFULLY) Huh! Another butterfly!

JOE:

(STILL EXCITED AT HIS CATCH) Look at those wings! Look at 'em!

FRENCHIE:

Huh! Better if it had wings big as an airplane to take us out of this hell-hole!

JOE:

I'll bet I'll get ten francs for this one!

FRENCHIE:

If we get out of the jungle alive...

JOE:

(LAUGHS CONFIDENTLY) I'll get out!

FRENCHIE:

(QUICKLY) I? You mean we! You would not leave me here!

JOE:

(CHUCKLES) Don't worry, Frenchie - you got in this with me, and you'll get out of it with me! (SIGHS) Ah, it's good to sit down....

FRENCHIE:

(BITTERLY) Until the ants begin to eat you!

JOE:

Cut it out, will ya! Can't you do anythin' but sing the blues?

FRENCHIE:

Oh! I should be happy! I should sing a song because the sun is burning me up, because the insects bite me, because I am here in this devil's hole half the world away from my home!

JOE:

(SHARPLY) Cut it out! Do ya think I like it any better than you do? But it's our only chance, see - catchin' these bugs is our only chance to get the dough to get out of here!

FRENCHIE:

But the sun --

JOE:

(INTERRUPTING) Do you think the sun's any colder workin' in the mines? Do you think the sun's any colder sittin' on the beach, tearin' your heart out every time you see a boat headin' back? I tell you this jungle's the only chance we have to get out of here - and by the devil I'm takin' it!

FRENCHIE:

(GIVING IN) Oui, oui! You are right - I know - It is as you say! Our only chance...

JOE:

Sure, so snap out of it! Another couple of days like this one, and we'll have caught enough of these bugs to head back to the coast!

FRENCHIE:

But will we get through?

JOE:

(TENSELY) Listen, Frenchie - when I say I'm gettin' out of here, I'm gettin' out!

FRENCHIE:

But the Indians -

JOE:

Cut it out, I tell you! Nothin's goin' to stop me!

FRENCHIE:

But if we do get out - how do you know Monsieur Runack will buy the butterflies?

JOE:

Listen!, he said he would, didn't he?

FRENCHIE:

(SCORNFULLY) What a man says! (SPITTING SOUND OF DISGUST)

JOE:

Yeah? Well, why shouldn't he buy 'em? Gives us a franc a piece and then sells 'em all over the world for plenty of dough!

FRENCHIE:

(UNBELIEVINGLY) Ah! And who would waste money on such things?

JOE:

Don't you know nothin'? Schools, museums - they pay plenty of dough for these jungle butterflies!

FRENCHIE:

But why should --

JOE:

(INTERRUPTING) Aw, forget it, I tell you! Ain't the air hot enough without you shooting your mouth off all the time? Lay still I tell you, and forget it!

FRENCHIE:

(SIGHS) Oui... I forget it..

FOR A FEW SECONDS ALL THAT IS HEARD IS THE SOUND OF THE JUNGLE, THEN

FRENCHIE:

Joe...

JOE:

Huh?

FRENCHIE:

I see you laugh to yourself...why you laugh?

JOE:

I was thinkin'....

FRENCHIE:

What?

JOE:

I was thinkin' what you said before - about a butterfly with wings like an airplane...

FRENCHIE:

So...

JOE:

Funny, ain't it - two big guys like you and me - guys that have shot the works from arson to murder-and both of us depending on what to get us out of the jungle and back to where we come from? A handful o' blue, and red and purple butterflies!

FRENCHIE:

(SIGHS) So it is.....

JOE:

Funny, ain't it - if anybody told me a couple of years ago that I'd be chasin' bugs, I'd have slugged 'em! But the bugs are all the chance I got now..

FRENCHIE:

Oui...

JOE:

You know, it's a funny thing - when I was a kid I used to chase butterflies too - dinky little white ones all around the empty lot back of the school....

CHATTER OF A GROUP OF MONKEYS, BACK, FADING QUICKLY BEHIND

FRENCHIE:

The monkeys - listen to the devils!

JOE:

Yep, I always was interested in bugs. Used to be an ant-hill over by a tree in that lot - I used to lay there and watch the ants for hours - just watchin'...

FRENCHIE:

(SCORNFULLY) Ants! What is there to see with ants?

JOE:

Plenty! They're smart, they are!

FRENCHIE:

(SCORNFULLY) Ah!

JOE:

I tell you they are! Figure things out! Plenty of bugs are like that, only we don't know it!

FRENCHIE:

(SCORNFULLY) Oh, but you know it!

JOE:

Listen, Frenchie, I'm tellin' ya this - if there was bugs as big as we are, they'd be runnin' the works, not us!

FRENCHIE:

(LAUGHS SCORNFULLY) Ho-ho! A butterfly for Le Presidente, eh?

JOE:

Oh, I don't mean butterflies! They're just like a lot of dames - for the looks, that's all! I'm talkin' about smart bugs like beetles, and ants, and bees, and spiders, and - (BREAKS OFF WITH) Say Frenchie! Ain't you listenin' to me?

FRENCHIE:

(DOWN, IN AWE AND UNBELIEF) Mon dieu....

JOE:

Huh? What's the matter with you? What are ya starin' at?

FRENCHIE:

(SLOWLY, TALKING TO HIMSELF ALMOST) It cannot be...

JOE:

(ANGRILY) What's the matter with you? What are ya lookin' at out there?

FRENCHIE:

You - you did not see it?

JOE:

See what? What's there to see but - (SUDDENLY, TENSELY AS THE THOUGHT OCCURS TO HIM) Indians?

FRENCHIE:

(STILL THAT SAME AWED TENSE NOTE IN HIS VOICE) No....

JOE:

Then what? Then what?

FRENCHIE:

(IN TERROR-TENSED VOICE) From behind that tree... he looked out at me..

JOE:

(SHARPLY) He? Who're you talkin' about? Who looked out at ya?

FRENCHIE:

A spider..(IN CLOSE IN AWE) and it was as large..as a dog..

GONG

FRENCHIE:

(IN CLOSE, DOWN) Joe..

JOE:

Wha'?

FRENCHIE:

Not sleeping?

JOE:

No..

FRENCHIE:

(SIGHS) Ah, I cannot sleep either..

JOE:

So hot...Gee, it used to get nice and cool about this time of night where I used to live...

FRENCHIE:

Joe....

JOE:

Whassamatter?

FRENCHIE:

(DOUBTFULLY) Did - did I see it?

JOE:

(DISGUSTEDLY) Are you startin' that again?

FRENCHIE:

But I must have seen it! I must have seen it! It was so clear!

JOE:

And I tell you it was nothin' but a monkey hangin' there! (SCORNFULLY) Spider!

FRENCHIE:

But I saw --

JOE:

Go on - the heat's fryin' your brains! Go on and sleep!

FRENCHIE:

(SIGHS) Ah....Oui...Sleep...I try...

JOE:

Okay...

FOR A FEW SECONDS ALL THAT IS HEARD IS THE SOUNDS OF THE JUNGLE AT NIGHT AND THEN FADING IN AND OUT, AS A MOSQUITO WOULD, IS HEARD THE BUZZ OF AN EXPLORING MOSQUITO, CONTINUING FADING IN AND OUT BEHIND

JOE:

Ah! Blasted mosquito - got in under the nettin'!

SOUND OF SLAPPING HAND

FRENCHIE:

You get it?

JOE:

(DISGUSTED) No!

SOUND OF MOSQUITO OUT WITH

ANOTHER SLAP OF HAND

JOE:

(TRIUMPHANTLY) Got it!

SOUND OF MOSQUITO, BACK

FRENCHIE:

Another one!

JOE:

Hole in the nettin', that's what's the matter! (WITH EFFORT) Might as well get up and fix it!...Blasted stuff - (FADE) fallin' apart with mildew!..

FRENCHIE:

(UP) Joe!

JOE:

(BACK) What d'ya want?

FRENCHIE:

Do not go too close to the edge of the clearing!

JOE:

(BACK) What're ya talkin' about? I'm just gonna fix the nettin' so that - (BREAKS OFF SUDDENLY AND CRIES OUT IN FRIGHT) Ahhh!

FRENCHIE:

(UP) Joe! What -- Joe! What is it? Joe!

JOE:

(FADE)-(HIS VOICE IS HORROR-TIGHT) I'm - I'm okay...

FRENCHIE:

But - but you screamed!

JOE:

(IN FULL)-(DOWN) Yeah..

FRENCHIE:

(SHARPLY) Well?

JOE:

I saw it, too - it was sittin' at the edge of the clearin' in the moonlight..

FRENCHIE:

(AGHAST) Ah!

JOE:

(SLOWLY) Yeah...spider as big as a dog..

GONG

THE JUNGLE SOUNDS BY DAY ARE FAR, FAR BACK CONTINUING FAR, FAR BEHIND THE FOLLOWING

JOE:

(UP CLOSE) Tighter! Pull the line tighter!.. There, that does it! Okay, come on out of the tree now!

FRENCHIE:

(BACK) Oui!

JOE:

Watch yourself - don't shake the tree too much - that trap-door's set on a hair-trigger!

THUD OF FEET ON GROUND, BACK AS FRENCHMAN JUMPS OUT OF TREE, FOLLOWED BY

FRENCHIE:

(BACK) So! (FADING) It is done...

JOE:

Yeah - if that cage ain't strong enough to hold it, you can run your knife through me!

FRENCHIE:

What - what if it does not come here again..

JOE:

It was here by the tree the last two nights, wasn't it?

FRENCHIE:

Oui, but --

JOE:

So it'll do it again! Only this time it's gonna stay by the tree! Yeah!

FRENCHIE:

But - but what if the trap fails?

JOE:

Don't start that again! I tell ya one jerk on this vine from where we'll be sittin' and the whole cage'll fall right on him! (CHUCKLES) Then, my friend, our troubles sure are over!

FRENCHIE:

I tell you, Joe, I am afraid!

JOE:

Afraid of what? Gettin' out of here and gettin' to some place where we can live like white men? Afraid of makin' money?

FRENCHIE:

(PUZZLED) Money?

JOE:

Listen, for a spider that big, I could get enough cash to float home with silk shirts on our backs! Think of it - a spider that big! We'll clean up with it!

FRENCHIE:

No, Joe! I say let us go away from here.

JOE:

(LAUGHS) Scares ya, eh, Frenchie? Well, it don't me! I tell ya this blasted jungle has spit out a gold mine for us.

FRENCHIE:

But - but the trap - are you sure of it, Joe?

JOE:

Sure I'm sure! We'll catch 'em! (CHUCKLES) It won't be butterflies payin' our ship-fare home, Frenchie - it'll be the biggest spider in the world! (CHUCKLES AGAIN) That's all right, eh, Frenchie?

FRENCHIE:

(IN CLOSE - AWE AND FEAR IN VOICE) But are you sure of the trap, Joe?

GONG

WIND EFFECT, NOT TOO STRONG, DOWN BEHIND

JOE:

(IN CLOSE - TENSELY) Wind's strong tonight..

FRENCHIE:

(TENSELY) Oui...

JOE:

I wonder what time it is..

FRENCHIE:

The stars have gone..

JOE:

Gettin' on mornin'..

WIND SIGHS

FRENCHIE:

Oui..

JOE:

He was always earlier before..

FRENCHIE:

The trap...frightened him away...

JOE:

Naw! What do spiders know about traps?

FRENCHIE:

You said yourself they are clever!

JOE:

Don't be a fool!

FRENCHIE:

But you said --

JOE:

Just talkin', that's all!

FRENCHIE:

(SLOWLY) There's a fear in me...cold and sharp as if --

JOE:

(DOWN, TENSELY) Wait!

FRENCHIE:

Eh?

JOE:

(SOTTO) The edge of the clearing!

FRENCHIE:

(DOWN, TENSELY) Mon dieu! It comes!

JOE:

Stay quiet!....

FRENCHIE:

(SOTTO-EXCITEDLY) Joe, let him go!

JOE:

(TENSELY) Quiet, or I'll kill ya!

FRENCHIE:

Do not pull the trap!

JOE:

Quiet!

FRENCHIE:

It looks at us!

JOE:

Another step and it'll be under - (UP AS HE PULLS THE LINE THAT RELEASES THE TRAP) There!

SOUND OF BOX-TRAP FALLING OVER SPIDER, BACK - A SORT OF CRASHING SOUND AS THE CRUDE TRAP FALLS OVER THE SPIDER IN THE UNDERBRUSH

JOE:

(UP, IN GREAT EXCITEMENT) Got it! I got it! (LAUGHS TRIUMPHANTLY) Ho-ho! Look at it, Frenchie! Trapped! It's mine, mine! The biggest spider in creation, and it's mine! All the money I need I'll get for it! Frenchie, what's the matter with ya? Why don't ya say somethin'? Say somethin'!..

FRENCHIE:

(DOWN, TENSELY) Trapped...and it does not move..Just...looks at us!..

GONG

THE JUNGLE SOUNDS BEHIND THE FOLLOWING ARE THAT OF THE JUNGLE IN THE DAYTIME - THEY ARE FAR, FAR BACK SO THAT THEY SIMPLY ESTABLISH THE FACT

FRENCHIE:

Joe...

JOE:

Yeah?

FRENCHIE:

How many days - since --

JOE:

Well, say it! Since we caught the big fella? Three? (CHUCKLES TRIUMPHANTLY) Yeah, three days!

FRENCHIE:

You have not...fed it..

JOE:

You're tellin' me?

FRENCHIE:

(SLOWLY) Why do you --

JOE:

Because I'm playin' it smart! Pretty soon that Thing won't be carin' much about anythin' - then I'm gonna slip a bottom on that cage and off we go!

FRENCHIE:

(SLOWLY) They say such creatures can live for a long time without eating..

JOE:

Not when they're that size! I figure that sittin' there in the sun all day - well, in about a week it won't care much what I do with it!

FRENCHIE:

Joe..

JOE:

Yeah?

FRENCHIE:

(SLOWLY) How could such a creature be?

JOE:

What do ya mean how could it be? You're lookin' at it, ain't ya?

FRENCHIE:

But such a spider --

JOE:

It's there, that's all that means anythin' to me!

FRENCHIE:

But such a giant creature --

JOE:

That's it! It's a giant, ain't it? Well, you've seen giant human bein's in circuses, haven't ya? They just happen, that's all! That's the way this spider happened!

FRENCHIE:

So black..

JOE:

Yeah, the midnight special, ain't he? Those big hairy legs - brr!

FRENCHIE:

Once I saw an octopus..

JOE:

Huh?

FRENCHIE:

Devil-fish..

JOE:

Oh, yeah, sure! And this one looks like a dry-land devil-fish, is that it?

FRENCHIE:

Oui...a thing of the devil..

JOE:

(CHUCKLES) Will that make a billboard at a circus sideshow! Will we clean up!

FRENCHIE:

The legs - the strength they must have!

JOE:

(CHUCKLING) Not when I get through with them!

FRENCHIE:

Look at it, Joe - be honest -

JOE:

Huh?

FRENCHIE:

(SLOWLY) Is there not a strange fascination when you look at it closely?

JOE:

What're ya talkin' about?

FRENCHIE:

Its eyes....

JOE:

Well?

FRENCHIE:

(THERE IS A NOTE OF FASCINATION IN HIS VOICE) How they shine!

JOE:

(SHARPLY) So what?

FRENCHIE:

(SLOWLY) As if.. there was thought behind them...

JOE:

(TENSELY) You startin' that again?

FRENCHIE:

You yourself said it -- creatures that think!

JOE:

I was talkin', see! Just talkin'!

FRENCHIE:

All these three days..it sits there so quietly - great legs crouched underneath it..(IN CLOSE) and its eyes like burning flames out of hell watching - watching -

JOE:

(SHARPLY) Cut it out!

FRENCHIE:

Joe, if it is thinking - (IN CLOSE) I am afraid - of what it is thinking!

GONG

JUNGLE SOUNDS, FAR BACK CONTINUING BEHIND

JOE:

(HE IS STANDING ALONE BEFORE THE CAGE TALKING TO THE SPIDER) Hot, ain't it, spider?....Yeah...Plenty hot...Frenchie couldn't take it any more. He's off lookin' for a cool spot, but me, I didn't want to leave ya alone, spider. (CHUCKLES SOFTLY) Didn't want to leave my meal ticket...You're gonna be a big time attraction on the boardwalk of some big time circus, spider. Yeah!..(IN CLOSE TO PAINT PICTURE OF HIM STANDING VERY CLOSE TO THE CAGE) Hmmm..Yeah, you're a helluva lookin' thing, spider..They won't believe ya until they see ya...and, fella, it's gonna cost 'em plenty before they see ya. (AS SPIDER SITS THERE MOTIONLESS) Spider! Why don't ya move? Spider!. (FRIGHTENED) Not dead! Get a stick - spider! Blast you, you're not dead! You can't be dead! It's been only a week since - you can't be dead! You're my chance--you can't be dead! Curled up with your legs over your - blast you, move! (WITH EFFORT) Reach in and see - (CRIES OUT IN ALARM AS
SPIDER SUDDENLY SPRINGS TO LIFE AND SEIZES HIM) Ahhhh!

RUSTLING SOUND OF SPIDER BEGINS AT THIS POINT AND IS DEFINITELY HEARD BEHIND THE FOLLOWING - I SUGGEST CELLOPHANE AS I REMEMBER IT WORKED VERY WELL ON A PREVIOUS SPIDER

JOE:

(IN TERROR) Let go! (WITH EFFORT) Let go of me! Blasted devil! Fooled me! Let go! (STRAINING) Let go of my arm!..Get away!...Let go!..(UP, CALLING) Frenchie! Frenchie! The spider - come on, Frenchie!

THROUGH THE RUSTLING SOUND OF THE SPIDER'S LEGS WE HEAR A SORT OF RAPID GNASHING OF TEETH SOUND TO PAINT THE PICTURE OF THE HUGE SPIDER'S FANGS CLICKING TOGETHER AS HE PULLS HIMSELF CLOSER TO THE MAN PRESSED AGAINST THE BARS OF THE CAGE - THIS EFFECT CONTINUES BEHIND

JOE:

(BUILDING) Stop! No!

GNASHING FANGS COMING IN VERY CLOSE

JOE:

(UP MADLY) Frenchie! Fangs! Frenchie! - (SCREAMS HORRIBLY AS FANGS DIG IN - HIS SCREAM SUDDENLY BREAKS OFF AND WE HEAR A RATTLING GURGLE AS HE FAINTS UNDER THE INJECTION OF POISON FROM THE FANGS - THE DEATH RATTLE FADES OFF AND WE HEAR THE RUSTLE OF THE SPIDER IN VERY CLOSE BLOTTED OUT BY

GONG

SOUND OF THE JUNGLE, FAR BACK BEHIND

A RUSTLING SOUND AS FRENCHIE WALKS THROUGH THE UNDERBRUSH

FRENCHIE:

(AS HE WALKS HE IS WHISTLING A LITTLE OFF-KEY THE "MARSEILLES" - HE BREAKS OFF HIS WHISTLING WITH) Joe! (UP) Joe! Where are you, Joe?....

BACKGROUND OF JUNGLE OUT KNIFE CLEAN

FRENCHIE:

(PUZZLED) Ah! All the sounds - suddenly - so quiet!..(UP)-(CALLING) Joe!..(SOTTO) Where is the man? Said he would be here! He said - (GASPS AS HE SEES BODY) Body! A body! What - (AS HE SEES THE CONDITION OF THE BODY) Ah! Dried up! What - (UP, CALLING) Joe! Joe, come quickly! I found a body! Bloodless! Joe, come quickly!..(SOTTO) Must see who - (AS HE TURNS BODY OVER AND SEES THAT IT IS JOE)-(HE CRIES OUT IN HORROR) Joe! Joe, it is you! Joe! How did this - what - (GASPS) Le spider! But how - (IN TERROR) Gone! Gone from the cage! Those devil eyes! (IN MINGLED HORROR AND PITY) And what he did to you, Joe! Empty! Bloodless! (ALMOST IN TEARS) Oh, it is horrible!..(SUDDENLY, IN TERROR) Ah! It might come back! Why do I stand here? It might come back! Got to get out! Yes! Get things together!

SOUND OF BOXES AND SO FORTH BEING MOVED AROUND BEHIND

FRENCHIE:

Butterflies - take boxes and get out before - (GASPS) Ah! Something moved behind that tree! (UP) No! Won't get me!

BEGIN SOUND OF RUNNING, CONTINUING BEHIND

FRENCHIE:

Won't get me! Won't --

SOUND AS HE TRIPS AND FALLS, FALLING

FRENCHIE:

(AS HE FALLS HE CRIES OUT-AFTER HE FALLS THERE'S A TWO-COUNT PAUSE-THEN HIS HEAVY, PAINFUL BREATHING) Ahh...my foot - twisted - (IN PAIN) Ahhh!..must have broken - (AS MEMORY OF SPIDER COMES BACK) No! Got to get away! (IN PAIN) Crawl..Got to get away!..(FADE) Got to get away..

TRANSITIONAL PAUSE - SHORT

FADEIN SOUND OF MAN CRAWLING THRU UNDERBRUSH, TOGETHER WITH

FRENCHIE:

(BREATHING HEAVILY-HE IS A VERY WEARY PAIN-RACKEN MAN) (SLOWLY WITH PLENTY OF PAUSES) Ahhh....oh, my leg...crawling....how far have I crawled...all day....so dark....never get me now..that devil thing.... (TRIUMPHANT NOTE) Ah, I did get away....Crawled miles....I did get away....Ah! Clearing! Someone to help me! (WITH EFFORT) Crawl to house! Someone to help me!..So dark... Tired....No strength...to call out...Crawl and find someone to help me! Then I will be free...free! (GASPS) Ah! Touched something - what - (TENSELY) a body! Who - (AGHAST) Joe! Joe, you! But how - why - (SHUDDERING BREATH) back in the camp! I'm back in the camp! Crawled all night in a circle! Back in the camp where it - no! (WITH EFFORT AS HE STARTS TO CRAWL AGAIN) Get out! Get out before it - (IN PAIN) Oh, my leg! No - no, can't crawl any more.. (FOR A FEW SECONDS ALL THAT IS HEARD IS HEAVY AGONIZED BREATHING) (THEN TENSELY) That sound! What?..(DOWN, TENSELY) Behind me -
it's behind me - waiting to jump on my back..(SWINGS AROUND, SCREAMINGLY) No-oo-o! Don't - (BREAKS OFF SHARPLY AS HE SEES NO ONE THERE) (DOWN, BREATHING HEAVILY) Nothing..it isn't there.. (GETTING ALMOST TEARFUL) Oh, if I could only crawl again - if I could only get away before...(GASPS) The moon! Coming out bright! Now I'll see - I'll see what - (DOWN TENSELY) Not here.. Only you, Joe..empty flesh over there in the moonlight..(UP IN SUDDEN FURY) Blast you to the devil, Joe, you brought me here - you! It's right that you die! But that spider won't get me! Not me! It's gone now! My leg, it will get better! I will get away! Yes, I will! I - (BREAKS OFF AS HE HEARS

THE RUSTLING SOUND OF THE MONSTROUS SPIDER BEGINS AT "I'LL GET AWAY" AND BEGINS TO FADE IN

FRENCHIE:

(AS HE SEES THE SPIDER HE CRIES OUT IN A LOW GASP OF HORROR) Ah! Spider! Come back! Oh, no! Mon Dieu, no! (ETC. IN TEARFUL AD LIB - NOT LOUDLY, BUT RATHER THE LOW-VOICED MUTTERINGS OF A MAN FRIGHTENED BEYOND BELIEF)

SPIDER CONTINUES TO FADEIN CLOSER

JOE:

(MOANING) No, no! No closer! No, no!

SPIDER SOUNDS SUDDENLY BEGIN TO FADE BACK

FRENCHIE:

(CANNOT BELIEVE HIS OWN EYES) Ah! Going back! Why - what --

HISSING SOUND BEGINS BACK, CONTINUING CHANGING LEVEL RAPIDLY - CONTINUING BEHIND

FRENCHIE:

On Joe. Crawling over him! But Joe is dead - why does he - (IN RENEWED TERROR) Ah! Spinning a web over him! Turning him around and around like a fly - covering him with that thick grey - (IN DISGUST) Ah! He saves him! For meat he saves him! (IN PAIN) Mon Dieu, my leg! I must crawl quickly! Quickly! (WE HEAR HIS HEAVY BREATHING AS HE STRUGGLES TO PULL SELF ALONG)

THE HISSING SOUND FADES BEHIND THE FOLLOWING

FRENCHIE:

Get away - down to the river!..I will not be meat for such a Thing! No! No!..(WEEPS AS HE CRAWLS) Just a little place to hide until morning! Only not to die like Joe!..(TEARS SLOWLY TURN TO HEAVY BREATHING, THEN) Ah - does not follow me! I can get away! I - ah! Tree! Hollow! Hide inside! (WITH EFFORT AS HE SQUEEZES INSIDE TREE TRUNK) Never find me here! No! (HAPPILY) I will live! Joe, you laughed and you are dead, and he eats you like a fly in a web! But me - if I live until morning, until the sun is bright and that Thing must hide until the night, then I will live! I will live! Joe, you laughed when I said I was afraid of its eyes! And I was right! It was looking the flesh of us over the way a butcher looks over the cow! Meat we were - fresh meat! But not me! (SLOWLY) If I live until morning!...

GONG

SOUNDS OF MORNING JUNGLE, FADE BACK AND OUT AFTER ESTABLISHING BEHIND

FRENCHIE:

(YAWNING AS HE WAKES UP) Ahhh!..(QUICK INTAKE OF BREATH) Morning. It is morning! The sun - I can see it! I live! I live... Ahh, my head - my bones - tree, you hide me good, but you make my head twist and turn....(WITH EFFORT) Get out of this hollow and see what --

SOUND OF SOMETHING HEAVY COMING THRU BRUSH

FRENCHIE:

(SOTTO, IN QUICK ALARM) No! Someone coming! Hide!.(BREATHING HEAVILY) Who....

AS HEAVY BRUSHING SOUND COMES IN CLOSER

FRENCHIE:

(PUZZLED) So heavy a walk - it cannot be that devil spider!...Ah, it must be one of the savages! They will help me! Yes! Squeeze over...see who -- (GASPS) Ah! Joe! It is Joe! Alive! (UP HAPPILY) Joe! (WITH EFFORT) Get myself out of here! (UP) Joe, I am here! Inside tree trunk! Wait for me! I get out!...So! (ALMOST BABBLING IN HAPPINESS) Oh, Joe, why do you stand there? I must have had a dream - all that happened - yes, a dream! (LAUGHS) Last night - (LAUGHS) Oh, such a funny nightmare to tell you!..(PUZZLED) Joe, why do you just stand there? Why do you just look at me? Your eyes - the sun shines in them and they hurt me - don't look at me like that, Joe! Your eyes so dark - so big! (DAZEDLY) They say, "Closer, closer, my friend. Come closer...I have such a happy thing to tell you...Closer.." (HE IS RAPIDLY BECOMING MESMERIZED AND IT IS OBVIOUS IN HIS VOICE) I - I like what your eyes say, Joe...Yes, I come closer. My leg - it hurts, but I come
close if you will tell me that happy thing..(IN CLOSE) (SLOWLY DEFINITELY MESMERIZED) Yes, I am close to you now, Joe..tell me what your eyes-(IN SURPRISE) Your hand! Why do you grab my arm? Ah! Your other hand! My other arm! Why do your fingers hold my arm so tight! They hurt me! (BUILDING) Another arm on my shoulder! Joe, what-(CRIES OUT AGAIN) Ah! Another arm! Holding my neck! Joe! So many arms! How can it be? Joe, it is you! I see your face, but your eyes - bigger and bigger! The sun so strong on my head - burning my head inside! Is that why I see such crazy things, Joe? Joe, why don't you say something? Your eyes bigger and bigger burning into my head! Now your face - it is changing! Joe, it is you! Then why does your face - (GASPS) And all those arms holding me! So black!

THE RUSTLING SOUND OF SPIDER BEGINS

FRENCHIE:

(UP) Joe! That sound! Your face - your arms - (CRIES OUT THE NEXT WORD IN A LOW VOICE THAT REPRESENTS THE ACME OF TERROR - HE CRIES OUT THE WORD IN A FLAT INSANE MONOTONE HOLDING THE LAST TWO LETTERS OF THE WORD "SPIDER" FOR A FIVE-COUNT) Spid-e-e-r-r!

WE BEGIN TO HEAR THE GNASHING OF THE SPIDER'S MANDIBLES, CONTINUING

FRENCHIE:

(FROM HIS NEXT WORDS IT IS OBVIOUS THAT HIS REASON HAS GONE - HE SPEAKS HIS WORDS IN A FLAT HORROR-FILLED MONOTONE-THE VOICE OF AN IDIOT) You are the spider! Not Joe, but the spider! Your eyes fooled me, didn't they - made me think I was seeing Joe, but all the time it was you, M'sieu Spider! But I am not afraid anymore. Is that not a joke - your black arms pull me close - I see the poison dripping from the fangs! You will tear my neck with them, but I am not afraid! Not afraid! I tell you! (IN CLOSE, SLOWLY) Something has happened in my head! So now I welcome you, M'sieu Spider! See! I lift my neck to you! Bite deep!

THE GNASHING OF SPIDER'S FANGS IN VERY CLOSE

FRENCHIE:

(AS FANGS BITE IN WE HEAR A HOARSE CHOKING OUTCRY WHICH IS BLOTTED OUT AFTER A FEW SECONDS BY A RISING AVARICIOUS RUSTLE AND THE HEIGHTENED CLASHING OF THE FANGS OF THE SPIDER

GONG

ANNOUNCER:

Lights Out, written especially for radio by Arch Oboler, comes to you each Wednesday from our Chicago studios.