Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Inner Sanctum Mysteries
Show: Death of a Doll
Date: Oct 18 1948

transcribed Oct 2009 Kevin Rimney

CAST: Host, Announcer, Will, Mr. McGrundy, Doll's voice, Beau Cousins, Inspector McShea, Mr. Jackson

SFX:

Creaking Door

HOST:

Good Evening friends, this is your host to welcome you through the creaking door into the Inner Sanctum. Slither in won't you, hmmm? Sorry the place is such a mess, I'll sweep it up later. Those are just chips off the old block, I've been doing my bone work. Hehehe. Oh didn't I tell you? Sure, I'm going back to skull this term. All cozy now, ready to swing along with us for a while? Good. After all this is a newspaper story. If you feel a little cold as we go on its only because we have a story to tell you. Hahaha

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight's Inner Sanctum Mystery, Death of a Doll was written by Fred Maytho and stars Mason Adams in the role of Will and Ted Osborne as Beau Cousins.

MUSIC:

HOST:

This is the story of Willie Harper and the devil, and how Willie on his first assignment for the Morning Blade finds himself at two in the morning sweating nervously in the murky shadows of a river front street in the lower city. Willie has a gun in his pocket and a doll that belongs to a dead girl tucked under his arm. A block away leaning against the one street, impassive, grotesque, apelike, is the devil, waiting for Willie.

WILL:

I keep saying this is 1948, and I keep saying this is Manhattan, and I keep saying whether you believe in the devil or not, you don't meet him until you're dead. But believe me, that's the devil over there under that lamp. At three o'clock he's coming for me. Sure you've got a right to think I'm crazy, standing around waiting to be killed, with a doll underneath my arm. This all started ten days ago, around five in the afternoon, at the city morgue. McGrundy the night editor sent me there on my first assignment, the morgue he said was a good place he said to start for stories.

MR. JACKSON:

Looks like you might be in luck soon.

WILL:

How's that?

MR. JACKSON:

Come around the table, what's your name?

WILL:

Will Harper.

MR. JACKSON:

Hehe, all right Willie, come down to the coolers with me. Unless I'm very wrong I've got a story in there for you. The girl in locker number seven, been here four days, tomorrow we close the case on her.

WILL:

What does that mean Mr. Jackson.

MR. JACKSON:

It means, in spite of everything the police have been able to do, they can't find out her name, where she lived or anyone who knew her.

WILL:

How was she found?

MR. JACKSON:

Tugboat crew fished her out of the east river, tomorrow she goes to the cit burial grounds in a plain box marked Jane Doe.

WILL:

That's horrible, just dying and nobody to... Do you think she was murdered?

MR. JACKSON:

There's not a mark on her. Police say she wasn't but I want you to look at her face and tell me what you think.

SFX:

Sound of a metal table being moved on wheels.

MR. JACKSON:

This is Jane Doe, see, this is where they have her. I want you to see her face Willie, tell me what you see in it.

WILL:

A strange emotion shook me, she didn't seem dead to me. Her skin was perfect ivory, her hair was fine spun copper, her lips twisted slightly. I, I blushed and turned away, imagining to myself what those lips must have looked like with life's color in them.

WILL:

Jackson led me back to his office without speaking. As I lit a shaky cigarette he fished a brown paper bag out of his desk, he handed it to me tilting it forward as he did so.

DOLL:

Maaaaa maaaaa

WILL:

What the devil?

MR. JACKSON:

Yeah, and when they pulled her out she was clutching this doll close to her. Even the doll hasn't helped trace her; the police are through with it.

WILL:

Mr. Jackson, you'll think I'm nuts but I suddenly feel sore, boiling mad. I don't know why but I think she was murdered, the, the look on her face...

MR. JACKSON:

Kind of asks you to help?

WILL:

Yes.

MR. JACKSON: A dead girl nobody wants and a doll. There's your story Willie, to bad you didn't know her before.

WILL:

Yeah, thanks.

MR. JACKSON:

Here take the doll along with you.

DOLL:

Maaaa maaaa

MUSIC:

WILL:

I beat it back to the paper on fire to do a story about the dead girl and her doll. As I gave McGrundy my report he stared at me. When I got through he had a sort of twisted grin on his face, sort of know it all. He grunted and tilted the paper wrapped doll forward.

DOLL:

Maaaa maaaa

MCGRUNDY:

Think she was murdered huh?

WILL:

Yes.

MCGRUNDY:

The cops don't think so.

WILL:

No.

MCGRUNDY:

They're closing her case tomorrow.

WILL:

Yup.

MCGRUNDY:

No clues, facts or anything outside of this doll?

WILL:

None.

MCGRUNDY:

All right Hopper, I will give you another day to find the nasty character who did this horrible thing. Cops have been wrong before, go ahead.

WILL:

Thanks, I'll get a story.

MCGRUNDY:

Haha, hmmm, take your dolly along and keep falling for the dead ones Harper, you're better off.

MUSIC:

WILL:

Now I know why I resented that crack of McGrundy's. He must have guessed before I did that I had fallen in love with the girl in the morgue. Half hour later, disgusted with my own morbidity I went to my room before going out to eat.

SFX:

Door slam

WILL:

Slammed the door and tossed the doll onto a chair.

DOLL:

Maaaaaa maaaaa

WILL:

I couldn't shake the feeling that the nameless girl in the morgue had something to say to me. If only the doll could talk, could tell me about her. What was she like? Was her voice soft - was she kind? Who was cruel to her? Where did she live? Who killed her doll, who?

DOLL:

Maaaa maaaaa

WILL:

I grinned sheepishly at myself in the mirror and with that gesture this story really begins. The next few moments remain electrifyingly vivid. I had set the doll down on the bureau, I didn't touch it, wasn't even looking at it when a new sound came from it.

DOLL:

Kara Nana, kara Nana

WILL:

I stared at the crumpled ridiculous little fool, almost afraid to touch it again but I had to. I picked it up and tilted it limply.

DOLL:

Kara Nana

WILL:

Kara Nana, that was what I had heard, a sound. A sound only? No, somehow I thought it was more than a sound. A name, maybe a name. Half because I didn't want to stay alone with the doll any longer and half on a hunch. I stuffed the doll back in its bag and went back to the paper, I went straight to the reference room files, the doll stuffed under my arm.

CLERK:

What are you looking for?

WILL:

I want to know if you've got anything in the files on someone name Kara Nana, spelled with a K or a C.

CLERK:

Huh (Chuckles.)

WILL:

Whats funny? You seem amused.

CLERK:

Don't tell me he's around again. If you've got a lead on Kara Nana you've got some story.

WILL:

Oh? Will you get me the clips on him?

CLERK:

I'll get you Meyer's Anthropology, I'm sure he's in there.

WILL:

Anthropology, why who is he?

CLERK:

The devil.

MUSIC:

WILL:

Kara Nana, of course an almost forgotten myth from Asia. Lucifer on earth wearing out one body after another walking the earth always. I remember it now from college. I decided on a long walk down Fifth Avenue, my head whirling with a maddening conflict. I think I would have given up the whole thing then but always at the point of going home to bed or chucking the blasted doll in a can. The face of the girl in the morgue blanked out other thoughts. When I reached Washington square it was dust. The sidewalk artists were packing up their canvases as I passed them, all but one that is. He was a tall angular man with a completely bald head whose four or five paintings had the advantage of a streetlight. The man paid no attention to me until at the sight of one painting I stiffened in utter shock.

BEAU:

What's the matter friend, the stuff that bad?

WILL:

That one, the one with the girl...

BEAU:

Woman with a doll I call it. Like it?

WILL:

Who's the girl? Do you know her? Tell me.

BEAU:

Sorry, I'm selling oil paintings friend, I'm not a dating bureau.

WILL:

No, no, no you've got me all wrong. I've got a good reason for asking. Look, I'll prove it. Here.

SFX:

Crumpling as something is taken from paper bag

WILL:

Isn't this the doll you painted with the girl?

BEAU:

Where'd you get that? I haven't seen Hazel in a week, she left for the coast. I gave her that doll to pose with. What's wrong?

WILL:

Hazel is dead.

BEAU:

Dead? Where is she?

WILL:

If I tell you will you promise to say nothing for a while? I'm a reporter for the Blade. My name is Will Harper.

BEAU:

I won't say anything unless I believe you had something to do with it. Where is she?

WILL:

I'll take you to her, she's at the city morgue.

MUSIC:

WILL:

An hour later we came out of the morgue. Beau Cousins had simply nodded at my questioning look. Seeing the girl again, knowing her name now added to the emotions I already felt for her. I had a sudden impulse as we stood in the street. I handed the artist Hazel's doll.

BEAU:

Are you giving me the doll?

WILL:

No, no I want it back. But I want you to tilt it, make it cry.

DOLL:

Kara Nana. Kara Nana.

WILL:

What did that sound like to you, what did you hear?

BEAU:

The doll said Kara Nana.

WILL:

You heard it too. Say it again, say that name again. What did you hear the doll say?

BEAU:

I distinctly heard it say Kara Nana.

WILL:

Then I'm not crazy. And do you know who Kara Nana is Mr. Cousins?

BEAU:

I'm afraid I do.

MUSIC:

BEAU:

It's the most fantastic coincidence I've ever encountered.

WILL:

Why?

BEAU: Do you know who Kara Nana is?

WILL:

The devil, Lucifer, Satan.

BEAU:

Quite. I think we better go to my place and talk this out. Certainly if what I think is true is true then no one will believe us.

WILL:

What do you think?

BEAU:

That Hazel was murdered by Kara Nana.

MUSIC:

WILL:

I followed Beau Cousins silently along the dark streets of the lower city. His long legs led us finally to a dingy narrow fish foul street where we climbed an outside stair to a warehouse.

BEAU:

You're in love with her aren't you? An amazing circumstance to be in love with someone you met too late.

WILL:

I could have loved her, yes.

BEAU:

I met her at the Mission house, conceived the idea of painting her with the doll. Somehow that seemed right to me.

WILL:

Go on.

BEAU:

Well we worked here for three weeks on the painting. I paid her enough so that she could go to California. A dream of hers. One night as we walked the streets nearby Kara Nana appeared.

WILL: Kara Nana.

BEAU:

Yes Kara Nana, or a man who calls himself Kara Nana. The devil or the human form of the devil however you choose to think.

WILL:

There, there can't be such a thing, the devil is just a myth.

BEAU:

Is he? I met him in Istanbul eight years ago in a café. I did a painting of him.

WILL:

What's he like?

BEAU:

Squat massive man, apelike. As I painted him he admitted to me such crimes I could hardly hold my brush.

WILL:

Like what?

BEAU:

He made his living as a professional murderer. Very discreetly, very cleverly, very effectively.

WILL:

Why didn't you turn him in?

BEAU:

Haha, really now. I like to paint and to live. He was so pleased with the picture I made and gave him that he told me any time I needed to rid myself of some embarrassing person he'd be around.

WILL:

Lucky you but who'd believe that story?

BEAU:

We do Willie and that's the important thing. Do you have any spare cash?

WILL:

Why?

BEAU:

I have about a hundred and fifty dollars. If you can make up the difference I think we claim Hazels body and give the child a decent burial.

WILL:

I fixed it up with Jackson at the morgue. At three that afternoon Beau cousins and I plus two grave diggers in the city cemetery were watching a bright new casket being lowered into a new grave.

BEAU:

Man that is born of woman hath but a short time to live, and is full of misery. He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay. In the midst of life we are in death.

WILL:

Thanks Beau.

BEAU:

I liked her to Willie, very much. You're a nice guy Willie, wouldn't you rather go now?

WILL:

No, no lets wait until she's covered over I want to talk to you, I've just gotten an idea. I know how to get Kara Nana.

BEAU:

And I will be very glad to see that you're buried next to Hazel here.

WILL:

I see things a lot clearer now that Hazel has a name and a past for me. If there is a man named Kara Nana as you say, I think he's human and that's an even chance.

BEAU:

Maybe Kara Nana isn't the one.

WILL:

And I'll find out, in any case you do want to help?

BEAU:

In any way short of being discretely disposed of yes.

WILL:

Swell. Kara Nana said he'd do a little job for you whenever you wanted him to right?

BEAU:

Yes.

WILL:

Then you get in touch with him and...

BEAU:

Sorry Willie, my merchant of death is unreachable, he shows up when he wants to.

WILL:

All right I'll wait, but when he does you've got a murder for him to do.

BEAU:

I have? Who?

WILL:

Me.

MUSIC:
SFX: typing/ busy news room background

WILL:

That was a week ago, an exciting week for me covering all sorts of stuff in the paper. I had begun thinking that Beau Cousins was an imaginative phony. Even my editor McGrundy had stopped kidding me about Hazel's doll perched on my desk. Then this morning at nine thirty I got a call.

SFX:

phone rings

WILL:

Morning Blade, Willie Harper here.

BEAU:

Greetings and farewell Willie, this is Beau Cousins.

WILL:

Oh, whats up?

BEAU:

The devil is in town Willie, he wants to see you.

WILL:

Kara Nana?

BEAU:

Yes, I saw him last night. He was delighted to help me get rid of you.

WILL:

I see.

BEAU:

I told him you were a reporter planning a story about art, which tore my work to pieces. What's the matter Willie? Change your mind?

WILL:

No, no, no. Did he say where?

BEAU:

He never lets his clients in on the details but he did say I'd be rid of you by three o'clock tomorrow morning.

WILL:

Th, thanks Beau. I'll be seeing you.

BEAU:

Quite seriously Willie, I hope so. Remember, bullets don't work on some things. Goodbye.

WILL:

So long.

SFX:

phone hanging up

WILL:

By three this morning he said. I didn't know where, exactly when or if I could get the drop on the devil and force the truth about Hazel out of him. I stuffed the doll into a bag and started out but McGrundy caught me.

McGrundy:

Harper.

WILL:

Yeah?

McGrundy:

Woman shot through the back of the head playing solitaire at I-4-7 Parkway North. Husband with her. Go out on it, phone it in.

WILL:

Right.

MUSIC:

WILL:

When I hit the lobby downstairs an unaccountable chill got me in the small of the back. Something made me stop short and turn around. It was my first look at Kara Nana. He was leaning against a phone booth, a heavy set ill shaped man whose arms sloped weirdly from his neck into a heavy stump. He was eying me impassively. The game was on I knew. I grabbed a cab to get my story just the same. I phoned the stuff in from the cigar store across the street. When I stepped out of the booth, Kara Nana had just bought some cigarettes. He turned to me as I froze waiting.

KARA Nana:

Some murder across the street huh?

WILL:

Yeah, how'd you know?

KARA Nana:

I get around.

WILL:

Murder a hobby of yours mister?

KARA Nana:

No. It's strictly business, so long.

MUSIC:

WILL:

That's the kind of thing that went on all day. McGrundy kept me on the hop and no matter where I went Kara Nana was there ahead of me. This afternoon I got to my room long enough to pick up my Luger pistol and the license I have to carry it. He was waiting for me when I came out.

KARA Nana:

Better put it in your inside coat pocket, it shows on your hip. Be seeing you.

WILL:

It's a quarter to three now, fifteen minutes and he hasn't moved from under that lamp post in two hours. I'm not waiting, I'm not waiting another minute, I'm going to meet the devil and have it done with. He doesn't move, will a bullet do it. Can I trick him into admitting Hazels murder or will he kill me first?

WILL:

Well here I am.

KARA Nana:

Yeah, I see. What can I do for you?

WILL:

Its almost three o'clock.

KARA Nana:

Hmm, you know you're right, time sure flies. Well time for me to get on home I guess. So long Willie.

WILL:

It's a trick, a fiends trick. He's leaving me with only a few minutes to go. I've got to stop this, I can't go through with it. I'll go to Beau's place, I'll tell him to call it off, I don't want to die.

BEAU:

Willie.

WILL:

Beau! I was running for your place.

BEAU:

I thought you might be down this way. You look scared to death and you should be I guess.


WILL:

I've got to hide Beau, lets beat it somewhere, its almost three.

BEAU:

All right, quick across the street Willie, there's a broken down pier there.

MUSIC:

BEAU:

Its dark here Willie, we'll be safe for a while. You've certainly worked yourself up. Is that the doll there?

WILL:

Yeah, I don't know why I carried it.

BEAU:

I'm glad you did, you have your gun with you?

WILL:

Yeah my Luger.

BEAU:

Let me have it, you're too wrought up.

WILL:

Here.

BEAU: Good, now be still a moment.

SFX:

Bell tolling three.

WILL:

Its three o'clock.

BEAU:

Yes, three o'clock, time for us to part.

WILL:

What do you mean?

BEAU:

You are not a very astute person are you Willie?

WILL:

Why?

BEAU:

Maybe Hazel's doll can tell you.

DOLL:

Kara Nana. Kara Nana.

WILL:

You. No, no Beau this is crazy.

BEAU:

The same water that received Hazel is at your back Willie, the time is three and tomorrow you will be fished out with the doll under your arm.

WILL:

You're Kara Nana!

BEAU:

Quite. Farewell Willie. Hazel, poor sweet child learned the same truth by accident.

WILL:

You dirty, filthy...

SFX:

a scuffle, doll hits ground.

DOLL:

Kara Nana.

BEAU:

Farewell Willie. And you shall take your ...

KARA Nana:

Drop him, I said drop him!

BEAU:

No, I will not!

SFX:

GUNSHOTS

BEAU:

Kara Nana, never... dies. (gasps)

SFX:

Body hitting wooden pier.

MUSIC:

McGRUNDY:

How's the head feel now Willie?

WILL:

Better Mr. McGrundy. My professional pride hurts more.

McGrundy:

Well it needn't, you followed through like an old timer din't he Inspector Mcshea?

McSHEA:

He'll do.

WILL:

How could I have taken you for the devil Inspector Mcshea?

McSHEA:

Haha, I've been called worse.

WILL:

How did you know where I was going to be through all that, where I was going to be in the end?

McSHEA:

Well I cover the morgue Willie. When a young guy decides to claim a corpse its time to follow up on it. You seemed OK but Cousins turned out to be wanted as a professional killer.

WILL:

So you tagged me to get to him.

McSHEA:

Yeah, he was after you there's no doubt about it. Oh here's you doll Willie.

WILL:

Yeah. Huh, I tilt the doll and nothing happens. No sound.

McGrundy:

Must be broke.

WILL:

I guess she doesn't have to speak anymore Mr. McGrundy. I think the doll is dead.

MUSIC:

HOST:

Hey, psst, wanna buy a doll. Hmmmm? I will sell it to you but there will be the devil to pay. Take a tip from Willie Harper, there is no romance at the morgue. You will only find cold hard figures. Hahahahah. Now if you'll excuse me I've got a date with Hazel's doll. She promised to help me in a grave situation. I've just got ot dig up something for next weeks show. I think if we work hard enough we will turn something up. Don't you? Hmmmm? Hahahaha

MUSIC:

HOST:

Goodnight. Pleasant dreams, hmmmmm.

SFX:

Creaking door closes.

ANNOUNCER:

This is the United States Armed Forces Radio. The voice of information and education.