Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Royal Gelatin Hour
Show: The Noble Lord
Date: Jan 21 1937

CAST:
HOST, Rudy Vallee
ANNOUNCER, Graham McNamee
WEAF ANNCR (1 line)
HE, very British; stiff upper lip
SHE, American; melodramatic
PETERS, working class British

HOST:

... Roland Young, with Frances Fuller, in "The Noble Lord," a comedy by Percival Wilde. Mr. Young divides his time between Hollywood, Broadway, and the English movie studios, with an occasional visit to various microphones. His most recent American releases -- "Give Me Your Heart," "The Unguarded Hour," and "Ruggles of Red Gap." Miss Fuller has had leading roles in a long series of Broadway successes, notably "Her Master's Voice" with Mr. Young, and "Stage Door" with Margaret Sullivan, her current assignment. Roland Young, with Frances Fuller, in "The Noble Lord."

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

MUSIC:

INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--

ANNOUNCER:

Our scene is a woodland glade. Offstage to the right is a small lake or pond -- very wet. Into the scene walks -- or rather, staggers -- a gentleman wearing a monocle and carrying a young lady. He drops both girl and glass and -- as we see that man and girl are, like the lake, all wet -- he bends over her warily, looks as if he were trying to remember how Boy Scouts go about reviving people. She speaks.

SHE:

(DELIRIOUS) Mother! Kiss me, mother. Kiss me.

HE:

(EMBARRASSED) Really, I beg your pardon.

SHE:

Hold me close, mother dear.

HE:

But, I say, you know, I'm - I'm not your mother.

SHE:

Kiss me. Kiss me. Kiss me!

HE:

Well, if you put it like that. (CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY AND KISSES HER) There.

SHE:

(COMES OUT OF HER DELIRIUM) Oh!

HE:

There you are.

SHE:

(CONFUSED) Where -- where am I?

HE:

(MATTER-OF-FACT) You know, I thought you'd say that. We're about half a mile away from the Grand Springs Hotel, Grand Springs, Maine, United States of America.

SHE:

(VAGUELY) Oh! (MORE DEFINITE) Thank you so much.

HE:

Huh? Oh. Don't mention it.

SHE:

(ASTONISHED) Oh! My clothes are wet!

HE:

(THOUGHTFUL) Yes. Mm hm.

SHE:

How funny! And - and you -- you're wet, too!

HE:

Oh, yes, yes. You're wet. I'm wet. We're - we're both wet. Mm hm.

SHE:

What a coincidence! How curious! How did it happen? Oh, if I could only think! Think! Tell me. You must know.

HE:

Well, I was strolling through the woods and I heard a splash--

SHE:

(INTERRUPTS) A splash! Oh, don't say any more! I remember!

HE:

(THOUGHT SHE MIGHT) Mm hm.

SHE:

That horrible lake! Horrible! It was so warm at the hotel, I'd gone off to the woods. I was sitting at the edge of the lake -- on a rock -- reading.

HE:

Oh, yes, on a rock.

SHE:

I must have been sleepy. I fell in.

HE:

Yes, and then you screamed.

SHE:

Yes, I was drowning! Drowning! I called for help!

HE:

Yeah, I heard you.

SHE:

I sank -- I sank, oh, miles and miles! It felt as if hands were trying to pull me down to the bottom! I screamed again -- and then -- (ROMANTIC) Then I felt a strong arm around my waist. I was dizzy -- there was a roaring in my ears -- I knew no more.

HE:

(HALF-MOCKING, HALF-SYMPATHETIC) Too bad, too bad.

SHE:

(AMOROUS) And you -- you were the man who jumped in! You saved my life! Oh, how can I ever thank you? My hero!

HE:

(CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY) Oh, really, you know, that's quite all right.

SHE:

Oh, but - but it's not all right. I can never repay you! Never! Not if I live to be a thousand years old! (SEDUCTIVELY) Kiss me, my hero!

HE:

(A NERVOUS CHUCKLE, CUT OFF AS SHE KISSES HIM) ... Uh, that's the second time I've kissed you, you know.

SHE:

The second time?

HE:

Yes, I kissed you before.

SHE:

(INDIGNANT) Oh, you didn't!

HE:

Oh, yes, I did.

SHE:

While I was unconscious?

HE:

Precisely.

SHE:

Oh, how could you do such a thing? How could you?

HE:

Well, it was by request.

SHE:

(INCREDULOUS) I asked you?

HE:

Yes, you said, "Mother, mother, kiss me."

SHE:

Oh. I said that?

HE:

Those were your first words, yes.

SHE:

(COQUETTISHLY) But, uh, you didn't have to kiss me.

HE:

(CHUCKLES) Well, I tried to explain that I was not your mother, but you seemed to know better. ... You insisted. I-- Well, I really couldn't help it.

SHE:

(SLYLY) What do you mean, you couldn't "help it"?

HE:

Well, you are a pretty girl, you know. An awfully pretty girl.

SHE:

(MODESTLY) Oh, no! (CHUCKLES)

HE:

Oh, certainly you are. (CHUCKLES) ...

SHE:

You - you honestly think so?

HE:

There was no one around. It was the kind of an opportunity that doesn't present itself every day. Life is so monotonous. And you - you didn't seem to object.

SHE:

(COYLY) Well, I - I couldn't very well -- not while I was unconscious.

HE:

That's so, yes. See, I'm a man, with a man's tastes, and you begged so hard and it was so inviting that-- Well, I kissed you.

SHE:

(BEAT) On the lips?

HE:

(QUICKLY) Oh, yes, rather. Yes, on the lips. Oh, yes.

SHE:

(BEAT) How often?

HE:

Huh?

SHE:

How often did you kiss me?

HE:

Well, only once, but it - it took quite a time. ...

SHE:

But, uh-- But only once?

HE:

Well, it was hardly worth mentioning, really.

SHE:

(MAGNANIMOUSLY) Well, I forgive you.

HE:

Oh, thank you.

SHE:

(INVITINGLY) Two kisses is not a great deal for saving my life.

HE:

No?

SHE:

I owe you much more than that!

HE:

Really?

SHE:

Really! (BEAT, WEAKLY) Oh. No. I - I think maybe I'm going to faint again. (SLUMPS INTO HIS ARMS)

HE:

(QUICKLY) Oh, no, I wouldn't do that. Please, please, don't do that, no.

SHE:

(RECOVERS) Oh, well, maybe not. Now, uh-- Now you must tell me all about yourself.

HE:

(AWKWARDLY) I don't like to talk about myself--

SHE:

(ENCOURAGINGLY) You're still a young man, aren't you?

HE:

Thirty-one last November.

SHE:

(LYING THROUGH HER TEETH) I'm just twenty. Only eleven years between us.

HE:

Just the right ages, aren't we?

SHE:

Do you think so? -- Lord Brookfield?

HE:

(SURPRISED) Huh?

SHE:

Lord Brookfield?

HE:

How on earth did you know it?

SHE:

(LAUGHS) I'm not so stupid as all that!

HE:

Oh, I see. [You recognized me?

SHE:

No. I have never seen you.

HE:

A photo?

SHE:

No.

HE:

Then how did you know?

SHE:

Lord Brookfield is a well-known man. The papers said he was coming to the hotel. I knew every other guest--

HE:

But three or four others arrived this morning.

SHE:

Americans.

HE:

Oh!]

SHE:

You're English! I could see that right away.

HE:

Oh, but how clever of you.

SHE:

(PLEASED, CHUCKLES) Oh, Lord Brookfield!

HE:

How curious I should meet you this way -- informally, so to speak.

SHE:

(LIGHTLY) Odd, wasn't it?

HE:

Yes, very. Uh, tell me, can you swim?

SHE:

(STARTLED) Huh?

HE:

Can you swim?

SHE:

Lord Brookfield! Of course I can't!

HE:

That's very curious. Neither can I.

SHE:

Oh, but you swam splendidly! Clothes and all! All the way from the other side of the lake!

HE:

Did I?

SHE:

Of course you did! One plunge, and a few magnificent overhand strokes--

HE:

(DRYLY) Plunge?

SHE:

Why, certainly.

HE:

Mm hm. I could have sworn I waded. ...

SHE:

(CHUCKLES UNEASILY) You - you're really too modest, Lord Brookfield.

HE:

(PLAYFULLY) Let's see. Of course, I may have swum, but, um-- You see, the water only just comes as far as the waist.

SHE:

Oh.

HE:

Mm hm.

SHE:

(FORCED CHUCKLE) Now, Lord Brookfield, don't deny that you saved my life!

HE:

That's what I'm trying to do.

SHE:

I beg your pardon?

HE:

I jumped in without thinking. It was the natural thing to do. I heard your scream for help. But the moment the water came up to my waist I knew that if it went any further, I should have to call for help, too.

SHE:

(BEAT) Well?

HE:

I was spared the humiliation. The pond isn't over three feet deep in any place. And I waded the whole twenty feet from one end to the other -- and I can't swim.

SHE:

But - but I was drowning! Drowning!

HE:

Yes. Are you in the habit of drowning often?

SHE:

(INDIGNANTLY) Oh, Lord Brookfield!

HE:

I nearly forgot to mention--

SHE:

What?

HE:

(AMUSED) That I saw you jump in.

SHE:

(REALIZES SHE'S BEEN CAUGHT) Oh! Oh.

HE:

It was pleasant while it lasted, wasn't it? And romantic! Why, romantic doesn't begin to describe it! (MELODRAMATIC) "Mother, kiss me!"

SHE:

Oh, stop. Stop!

HE:

Unconscious -- helpless -- and you didn't remember! Very clever! And the hands trying to pull you down to the bottom -- that was a touch of genius! Well, I was willing to have a little fun.

SHE:

(OVER-THE-TOP HURT) Oh, you played with me! Played with me! Oh, you're disgusting! What a thing for a man to do! I thought--

HE:

(BEAT) Yes?

SHE:

Nothing. (AN OUTBURST) I thought Lord Brookfield was a gentleman!

HE:

Oh, but I'm not.

SHE:

Not a gentleman?

HE:

No. Not Lord Brookfield.

SHE:

Not Lord Brookfield?!

HE:

No.

SHE:

Then who on earth are you?

HE:

I? I'm a friend of his. Close friend; very close. I see a lot of him. We're very thick.

SHE:

(UPSET) Who are you?

HE:

I'm his valet.

SHE:

(HORRIFIED) Oh! ... And you kissed me! A valet! And you dared kiss me!

HE:

At your request.

SHE:

But a valet! A valet!

HE:

I'm a good valet, you know. One of the best there is.

SHE:

A valet!

HE:

Listen to me.

SHE:

I won't!

HE:

I'll help you.

SHE:

I don't want your help!

HE:

Then you're very silly.

SHE:

How dare you--?!

HE:

I'll make a bargain with you. Look, down the path there, at the foot of the hill.

SHE:

(BEAT) Well?

HE:

(WITH MEANING) That's Brookfield.

SHE:

(BEAT) Well?

HE:

That path leads here. He's following the path.

SHE:

(BEAT, NO LONGER UPSET) Well?

HE:

You and I might be very good friends--

SHE:

Oh?

HE:

See, a valet isn't paid very much.

SHE:

No. Still--

SHE:

If anything comes of it--

SHE:

(BEAT, WARILY) Comes of what?

HE:

Oh, you understand me. Here. Your clothes are still wet, aren't they?

SHE:

(WITH FULL COMPREHENSION) Yes!

HE:

Enough said! Quick!

PETERS:

(WHISTLES A CHEERFUL TUNE; OFF, BUT COMING CLOSER)

SHE:

You won't tell? I'll remember you. (MOVING OFF, WHISPERS) Goodbye!

PETERS:

(STILL WHISTLING, APPROACHES; STOPS WHISTLING WITH--)

HE:

Give me a light, Peters, hm?

PETERS:

Yes, m'lord.

SOUND:

STRIKES A MATCH

HE:

Thanks, Peters. You're a brave man, aren't you?

PETERS:

(CHUCKLES MODESTLY) Well, I am handy with me fists, m'lord.

HE:

No, that's not quite what I mean, Peters. (BEAT) Peters, you have the making of a hero in you.

PETERS:

What?

HE:

Something tells me that you're going to have your chance.

SOUND:

BIG SPLASH! FROM OFF

SHE:

(OFF) Help! Help!

PETERS:

(EXCITEDLY) M'lord!

HE:

(CALMLY) Yes, Peters?

PETERS:

Someone's yelling for help, m'lord!

HE:

Yes, Peters.

PETERS:

Well, er-- Shall I go, m'lord?

HE:

Yes, Peters. Gallop.

PETERS:

(SHOUTS) I'm coming! I'm coming!

HE:

Oh, Peters?

PETERS:

Yes, m'lord?

HE:

Duck her head under a few times before you pull her out, will you, Peters?

MUSIC:

CURTAIN

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

MUSIC:

NBC CHIMES

WEAF ANNCR:

WEAF, New York.

HOST:

Well, it served her right. That's the way to treat such women, I always say. Thank you, Roland and Frances. ...