Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe
Show: Party for Death
Date: Feb 16 1951

Transcript courtesy of American Radio Theater

FX:

Ringing of phone (one ring before announcer, one ring during narrative)

ANN:

Ladies and Gentlemen, the ringing of that phone bell brings you mystery, adventure

FX:

Pick up phone

ARCHIE:

Nero Wolfe's office, Archie Goodwin speaking. No, I'm sorry Mr. Wolfe is busy planning a menu. I'll see if he can talk to you. What's the name again? You want to talk to a dame named Mrs. Collins?

WOLFE:

Hang up, Archie.

ARCHIE:

Do we know a Mrs. Collins?

WOLFE:

No!

ARCHIE:

I don't suppose you care, but I think her voice is very charming.

WOLFE:

Doubtless. Every female has a charming voice to you. Hang up.

ARCHIE:

O.K. I'm sorry, Mrs. Collins, but at the moment Mr. Wolfe is too involved with his digestive system to be interrupted. However, if I may introduce myself, Archie Goodwin, Mr. Wolfe's assistant, if I can be of any help?

WOLFE:

Archie.

ARCHIE:

Yes, Mrs. Collins, I'll ask him. Cocktail party.

WOLFE:

Hang up Archie.

ARCHIE:

Mrs. Collins, I am afraid it would be better if you didn't expect Mr. Wolfe. Good-bye.

FX:

Hang up phone

ARCHIE:

Cocktails, phooey.

WOLFE:

Absurd, totally absurd.

ARCHIE:

She says you promised to come to her cocktail party and why aren't you there.

WOLFE:

Because you are going to attend the cocktail party and the probable unpleasant ending.

MUSIC:

Music up and then play under announcer

ANN:

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's that genius who is the bulkiest, balkiest, the most ponderous and most brilliant detective in the world. Yes, none other than that chairborne mass of unpredictable intellect, Nero Wolfe. Created by Rex Stout and brought to you in a new series of adventures over this NBC network.

MUSIC:

Music up and then under narrative

ARCHIE:

Mr. Wolfe and I refer to this as "The Case of the Party for Death." Nero Wolfe really should have gone to the party since he had accepted, but I was delegated. I can't complain now, since it was there that I met Georgia, the most beautiful redhead. Well, that's my weakness: redheads, yeah and blondes and brunettes, and.... Well anyway Mr. Wolfe was adamant about going to the party.

WOLFE:

I have never been to a cocktail party in my life. You know I drink nothing but beer.

ARCHIE:

You could take your beer with you, couldn't you?

WOLFE:

I could not.

ARCHIE:

Do we know a Mrs. Collins whose cocktail party you said you would go to?

WOLFE:

The phone rang and I picked it up.

ARCHIE:

Where was I?

WOLFE:

Exactly.

ARCHIE:

O. K. So a Mrs. Collins with a beautiful seductive voice conned you into accepting an invitation to a cocktail party that you knew you weren't going to.

WOLFE:

Archie.

ARCHIE:

Yes, Master.

WOLFE:

Just a little less sarcasm perhaps.

ARCHIE:

Sarcasm?

WOLFE:

Call it impertinence, then.

ARCHIE:

Impertinence, Master?

WOLFE:

Exactly. Less of that, much less.

ARCHIE:

O.K.

WOLFE:

Continue now.

ARCHIE:

Where was I?

WOLFE:

You were reading the duck recipe.

ARCHIE:

Oh yes, the duck. Oh, here we are. Dough Dean da Canard. The Dough Dean is one of the oldest dishes in the repertory of French cooking, being mentioned in books of the 14th century. (Le gran cuisineer de tuit cuisine) Lee Grand Coos in eer de toot coos in ee

WOLFE:

Phooey. What time is it, Archie?

ARCHIE:

Almost 6:30.

WOLFE:

Oh, in that case...

FX:

creaking of chair

WOLFE:

Uh (struggle out of chair)

ARCHIE:

You're going to get up?

WOLFE:

Here on this card are your instructions, Archie. If you are still alive tomorrow, you may make your report.

MUSIC:

Music up and then down under narrative

ARCHIE:

I helped the huge bulk that was Nero Wolfe out of his specially built desk chair and walked with him to the elevator that would take him upstairs to his orchids.

FX: Footsteps under first sentence

ARCHIE:

I stepped back to the desk and found the card which bore my instructions. In his small perfect handwriting, I read "Mrs. Albert Collins, Empire Towers, arrive at 7:00. Say I sent you. After the murder, telephone me before the police arrive." At exactly 7:00 I rang Mrs. Collins' doorbell.

FX:

buzzer - pause - buzzer. Door opening, muted sounds of music and voices

ARCHIE:

Mrs. Collins?

JANIE:

I'm Mrs. Collins.

ARCHIE:

I'm Archie Goodwin. We talked on the phone a little while ago.

JANIE:

Oh, oh, yes. Well, come in, Mr. Goodwin.

ARCHIE:

Mr. Wolfe begs to be excused. At the last moment he was unable to attend.

FX:

door close - background laughter

JANIE:

Well I am glad you could come.

ARCHIE:

You are not disappointed?

JANIE:

No, I don't think so. I'm rather upset. I'm afraid, Mr. Goodwin, for my life. That's why I called Mr. Wolfe. Oh, just drop your hat and coat there, Mr. Goodwin.

ARCHIE:

May I tell you something, Mrs. Collins?

JANIE:

Well, of course, Mr. Goodwin.

ARCHIE:

Archie will do.

JANIE:

Archie.

ARCHIE:

When I spoke to you on the phone I thought I knew what you'd look like.

JANIE:

And?

ARCHIE:

You do.

JANIE:

Well, Is that good?

ARCHIE:

It's not bad, Mrs. Collins.

JANIE:

Janie will do.

ARCHIE:

Janie will do.

JANIE:

Um, Archie, I, um, I think it would be best if I say you're an old beau of mine.

ARCHIE:

From where?

JANIE:

In Hollywood. When I went to Hollywood High School and you went to USC

ARCHIE:

O.K. but don't expect me to remember much about it.

JANIE:

I'd be flattered if you remembered anything about it. I want you to keep your eyes and ears open. Observe everything tonight. Well, now shall we join the party?

MUSIC:

Music up then down under conversation

JANIE:

Oh, Albert, this is Archie Goodwin. Archie, this is my husband, Albert.

ALBERT:

How do you do?

ARCHIE:

Hello.

JANIE:

And this is Joe Boyce, my husband's partner.

JOE:

How do you do?

ARCHIE:

Boyce.

JANIE:

I've told you about Archie, Albert, but oh I guess you probably don't remember, do you?

ALBERT:

No, I don't.

JANIE:

When I was in high school and he went to USC.

ALBERT:

Oh, oh yes, sure. What'll you have, Goodwin?

ARCHIE:

I'd like a plain lime and soda.

JANIE:

Oh, now really. A teetotaler now?

ARCHIE:

Yes, I um. Well I used to overdo it - remember?

JANIE:

Uh hun.

ALBERT:

So you knew my wife in Hollywood?

ARCHIE:

Quite a while ago though.

ALBERT:

Uh huh. Been here long?

ARCHIE:

Oh, a while.

ALBERT:

You and my wife run into each other again just lately?

ARCHIE:

Yeah.

ALBERT:

Two days ago?

ARCHIE:

About.

ALBERT:

Joe Boyce, here, is my partner. Chemical business. Makes this sort of an old home week. Doesn't it, Joe?

JOE:

In a way, Al. I guess it does it that.

ALBERT:

Joe knew my wife back in those days too. And they're still very friendly. Yes, yes indeed. You two have got something in common to talk about, haven't you, Goodwin?

ARCHIE:

Mrs. Collins, you mean? Oh, we never knew each other very well.

ALBERT:

No?

JOE:

O.K., Goodwin, let it go.

GEORGIA:

Why look, look what I found. A new man. Just what I need. I'm Georgia.

ARCHIE:

Archie.

GEORGIA:

Archie, dear. Will you fix up my drink, please?

ARCHIE:

Anything for a lady.

GEORGIA:

Let's go to the bar, eh Archie.

ALBERT:

I'm determined, Joe. If it were only the money, or only Jane, I might listen.

JOE:

Oh, Al, can't we talk about it later.

ALBERT:

I like talking about it now, Joe.

JOE:

You're going to be sorry about this, Al.

ALBERT:

I am already, but you'll have 20 years or so in prison just being sorry. I've got the papers you forged right here.

JOE:

You're hysterical, Al. Let's face it. The firm went broke but I suffered too. So let's forget it.

ALBERT:

Yes, Joe. The firm went broke but you didn't, and I don't think my wife did either. The two of you have everything figured for yourselves. Well, I'm turning the papers over to the D.A. tomorrow.

MUSIC:

Music up

FX:

Ringing phone, pick up phone

WOLFE:

Nero Wolfe speaking

ARCHIE:

(on FILTER) Archie. What do you know about this expected murder, if anything?

WOLFE:

Has it happened yet?

ARCHIE:

No, but who's supposed to get killed?

WOLFE:

I haven't the faintest idea, Archie.

ARCHIE:

Then why don't you stop it?

WOLFE:

That is impossible. I don't even know who's there.

ARCHIE:

You want me to tell you.

WOLFE:

Not in the least.

ARCHIE:

How am I supposed to prevent it if I don't know what I'm looking for?

WOLFE:

You're not supposed to prevent it, Archie. I don't think you could. I don't think anybody could.

ARCHIE:

You want to hear what I've found out already?

WOLFE:

No.

ARCHIE:

I'll tell you anyway.

ARCHIE:

Collins thinks his wife and his partner Boyce have been stealing his dough and he's threatening to send Boyce to the clink.

WOLFE:

Archie.

ARCHIE:

Yeah?

WOLFE:

You're wasting our time. Go back to the party. There is nothing you can do to prevent the murder. But I want you to be there when it happens.

FX:

Hang up phone.

MUSIC: Music BRIDGE

ARCHIE:

Now that all the guests have gone, let's sit down here, Georgia.

MUSIC:

Background music ("Somebody loves me")

GEORGIA:

When Janie was in Hollywood, she must have had more good-looking boy friends.

ARCHIE:

Let's get personal about this, Georgia.

GEORGIA:

Yeah, let's.

ARCHIE:

When you say good-looking, do you mean me?

GEORGIA:

I don't mean anybody else, Archie.

ARCHIE:

You know I think you're pretty too.

GEORGIA:

You'd better not let Jane hear you say that.

ARCHIE:

You think she'd care?

GEORGIA:

I thought you knew Jane.

ARCHIE:

Only slightly. You don't like Jane too well, do you?

GEORGIA:

Why?

ARCHIE:

Why? Why what?

GEORGIA:

Why don't you tell the truth about it. No man as attractive as you ever knew Jane slightly. Either they knew her or they didn't know her. Maybe you think I'm getting a little tipsy.

ARCHIE:

The idea never occurred to me.

GEORGIA:

No. Well it has to me.

ARCHIE:

Refill your glass?

GEORGIA:

I'll come with you to the bar.

FX:

Steps/glasses clink, liquor pouring

ARCHIE:

Well, here's your drink, Georgia. Oh - I find there's no ice left in the ice bucket.

GEORGIA:

Janie, hey Janie! No ice.

JANIE:

Oh, Oh, Well I'll get some. Here, give me the bucket.

ARCHIE:

Mrs. Collins, uh, Janie, I mean.

JANIE:

Yes, Archie?

ARCHIE:

May I use the phone in the bedroom again?

JANIE:

Oh, of course.

ARCHIE:

Will you excuse me for a minute, Georgia?

GEORGIA:

I'm coming with you.

ARCHIE:

Now, why don't you just stay here until Jane brings the ice. Well, why don't you talk to Joe Boyce?

GEORGIA:

I don't want to talk to Joe Boyce. I don't want to talk to Joe Boyce ever.

ARCHIE:

Now look, Georgia.

GEORGIA:

I'm coming with you Archie. Is that clear?

ARCHIE:

O.K. Come on.

MUSIC:

OUT

FX:

Steps on carpet

GEORGIA:

Here's where the phone is.

ARCHIE:

I could have found it myself.

GEORGIA:

You don't want me with you, do you?

ARCHIE:

Just sit down here on the edge of the bed and listen. If that's what you want to do.

FX:

Dial phone, Ringing

WOLFE:

(on phone) Nero Wolfe speaking.

ARCHIE:

Archie, boss.

WOLFE: Well, Archie, what?

ARCHIE:

Just a bit of a report.

WOLFE:

Go on.

ARCHIE:

At this moment I am sitting on the edge of one of two twin beds in the apartment of Mr. & Mrs. Albert Collins. Sitting next to me is a gorgeous red head named Georgia. Georgia what, dear?

GEORGIA:

Boyce.

ARCHIE:

You mean you're the wife of Joe Boyce?

GEORGIA:

Of course. Didn't you know?

ARCHIE:

I am sitting next to the gorgeous red headed wife of Albert Collins' partner Joe Boyce.

WOLFE:

Archie, you annoy me.

ARCHIE:

From what I just learned, I can see there's another friction going on.

WOLFE:

You mean Georgia and Jane.

ARCHIE:

Yep, fireworks between them. This one no like other one.

WOLFE:

You got anything more to say?

ARCHIE:

When I called I was going to ask if there's any reason why I shouldn't come home now.

WOLFE:

I wrote your instructions for you, Archie.

ARCHIE:

After the murder, call you.

WOLFE:

Yes, that's perfectly clear isn't it.

ARCHIE:

But what if there isn't any?

WOLFE:

Then don't call me. (laugh) Simple, isn't it.

FX:

Click

ARCHIE:

Hello? He hung up.

FX:

Hang up phone

GEORGIA:

Archie?

ARCHIE:

What?

GEORGIA:

That was a strange conversation.

ARCHIE:

Do you want me to explain it to you, honey?

GEORGIA:

What was that business about murder?

ARCHIE:

Shall we join the party?

GEORGIA:

Murder. Archie, wouldn't you be surprised if there was one?

ARCHIE:

Yeah, who's going to do what and to whom?

GEORGIA:

I don't know. Maybe I will.

ARCHIE:

Elucidate, honey. Do you intend to figure as the killer or the corpse?

GEORGIA:

I don't intend to figure as anything, but you never know. Archie, do you think Jane Collins is better looking than me?

ARCHIE:

Nope.

GEORGIA:

Honestly?

ARCHIE:

Honestly.

GEORGIA:

Then what's the matter with me?

ARCHIE:

Nothing, nothing at all.

GEORGIA:

Oh, yes, there is. Look, do you want to kiss me?

ARCHIE:

I Uh, Er, I, I, well I'll tell you. When I graduated from Sunday school I took a vow...

GEORGIA:

That's what I mean. But if I were Jane you'd want to kiss me, wouldn't you?

ARCHIE:

No, frankly, no.

GEORGIA:

Why not?

ARCHIE:

Well, when I graduated from Sunday school.

GEORGIA:

O.K. Archie. Let's go back.

FX:

Steps on carpet

GEORGIA:

You boys have such happy faces. Where's Jane?

JOE:

In the kitchen getting some ice. Where have you been?

GEORGIA:

With Archie.

JOE:

Is he an old school chum of yours too?

GEORGIA:

Do you care, Joe?

JOE:

No.

ARCHIE:

Mr. Boyce.

JOE: What?

ARCHIE:

How much do you weigh?

JOE:

187. Why?

ARCHIE:

Then I'll be giving you 5 pounds. Shall we step outside?

GEORGIA:

This I have got to see.

JOE:

Shut up. Mr. Goodwin. You seem angry.

ARCHIE:

Just terribly, terribly hurt.

JOE:

Would it do any good if I apologized? Today I'm a little upset. If I said anything to offend you, I do apologize. Now, if you still want me to give you a boxing lesson, I'm at your service.

ARCHIE:

Let's forget it. I'm sorry too.

MUSIC:

Music under narrative

ARCHIE:

Jane Collins came in from the kitchen with a bucket of ice cubes a tray of fresh glasses and the strapless gown she'd been wearing.

JANIE:

There, I never thought I'd make it. Now I'm going to mix my own drink and you can take care of yourselves. Ice first...

FX:

Ice in glass

JANIE:

Then whiskey...

FX:

Pouring

JANIE:

And soda.

FX:

Soda in glass

JANIE:

(Chuckle) A simple recipe isn't it, Archie?

ARCHIE:

All it needs is the ingredients.

JANIE:

I drink to the ingredients.

FX:

Glass clinking

JANIE:

Um - Ah, nice.

FX:

Glass down on table

GEORGIA:

Janie, Dahling.

JANIE:

What, dear?

GEORGIA:

Would you mind very much if I took Archie away from you?

JANIE:

Uh huh - haven't you done that already, dear?

ALBERT:

To listen to those girls, you'd think, wouldn't you, Goodwin.

ARCHIE:

Me, I never think.

JANIE:

What do you do, Archie?

ARCHIE:

I concentrate.

JANIE:

On what?

ARCHIE:

On not thinking.

MUSIC:

Music under narrative

ARCHIE:

I did some serious concentrating on not thinking about Nero Wolfe or about the conflict of the partners, Albert Collins and Joe Boyce. About the jealousies of Jane and Georgia. The next five minutes hardly seemed an hour. Jane and Boyce murmured to each other. Collins drank gently but firmly.

GEORGIA:

Why can't you be honest, Archie? What's the matter with me?

ARCHIE:

What, Georgia?

GEORGIA:

You weren't listening, were you?

ARCHIE:

To every gorgeous word you said.

GEORGIA:

What did I say?

ARCHIE:

I want to hear it again just the way you said it before.

GEORGIA:

I said, why shouldn't there be a murder? Why not? It's in order.

ARCHIE:

It's just not considered the thing to do.

GEORGIA:

Thing to do. Can you think of anything better?

ARCHIE:

No, frankly.

GEORGIA:

I can. My glass is empty.

ALBERT:

My glass is empty too. Jane? Jane?

JANIE:

Oh, I'm sorry I'm not much of a hostess, am I? Don't answer that. Oh, you're all empty. But I've only drunk half of mine.

FX:

Glass down on table

ALBERT:

You don't usually drink so slowly, Jane.

JANIE:

Oh, I'm just not in the mood tonight. I usually drink faster to keep you from drinking mine. See, Albert always gulps his and then reaches for mine.

ALBERT:

What's the difference?

JANIE:

Well, I'll fix you some fresh drinks. But put my drink over there by you, Georgia. And lay off Albert. I only had about three swallows of it. (Walking away) Besides, you don't need anymore.

FX: footsteps on carpet

GEORGIA:

I suppose we know what dear Jane is going to do, don't we?

JOE:

Lay off, will you?

GEORGIA:

Lay off. It's my husband who said that, Archie. Archie, meet my husband, Mr. Boyce. I will now explain why dear Jane took our glasses away to the kitchen when she could have poured a drink right here.

JOE:

Listen, Georgia. Will you...?

GEORGIA:

Mr. Boyce is speaking, Archie. What, Mr. Boyce?

JOE:

Aww, nuts.

GEORGIA:

Mr. Boyce says nuts, Mr. Goodwin. What do you say, Mr. Collins?

ALBERT:

I think Joe has covered the field.

GEORGIA:

We were talking, weren't we, Archie?

ARCHIE:

Possibly.

GEORGIA:

We were talking about dear Jane. She's got to be always the prettiest, always devastating. Right now she's putting on a completely new face and in about 20 minutes when our tongues are hanging out, she'll come back all horsed up and bright and smiling with another tray of drinks.

ALBERT:

Yes - she'll take all night to fix them.

GEORGIA:

Well, I'm going to get some air on the balcony.

JOE:

Don't jump off. Al, you're drinking too much lately.

ALBERT:

Why should it worry you, Joe? Especially now?

JOE:

When you start drinking not only your drinks but everybody else's too, well.... Aww, Jane's right.

ALBERT:

Is that what worries you? Slide Jane's glass down here.

FX:

Slide glass

ALBERT:

(starting to slur his words) Humph, the ice is all melted.

JOE:

You see what I mean.

ALBERT:

(slurring words) O.K. Joe, let's not be nasty until tomorrow.

MUSIC: Chilling music playing under voices

ALBERT:

(slurring) Hah, that gives me an idea, I think I'll propose a toast "Until Tomorrow." You know it may be rather fitting that I should drink a toast from the glass that Janie left. "Until Tomorrow." (CHOKING)

FX:

Glass breaking

ALBERT:

Uh, oooh

FX:

body dropping, MUSIC UP AND OUT

JOE:

Al? Al? Jane? Janie?

JANIE:

Albert!

FX Running footsteps on carpet

JANIE:

Oh, Albert.

MUSIC:

MUSIC BRIDGE.

FX:

Ringing of phone, pick up

WOLFE:

Nero Wolfe speaking.

ARCHIE:

(on FILTER) May I come home now?

WOLFE:

Oh, hello, Archie.

ARCHIE:

(FILTER) I said may I come home now?

WOLFE:

Have you sent for the police, Inspector Kramer?

ARCHIE:

(FILTER) Of course.

WOLFE:

Who was killed, Archie?

ARCHIE:

(FILTER) Albert Collins.

WOLFE:

How, Archie?

ARCHIE:

(FILTER) I don't know. You were right, though, weren't you?

WOLFE:

Naturally. about what.?

ARCHIE:

(FILTER) Murder.

WOLFE:

Oh, that. We can talk about it tomorrow. Good night, Archie. Come home when you can.

ARCHIE:

(FILTER) What do you mean, come home when I can?

WOLFE:

You'll be held as a witness, won't you? (Chuckle) Try not to wake me with the elevator when you come in.

MUSIC:

MUSIC UP

ARCHIE:

Well, Inspector Kramer, you've had me here at headquarter for a long while. For quite a long while. Haven't you asked me enough questions?

KRAMER:

Goodwin, you say you never saw these people before. Collins, or Boyce or their wives. Yet, when all the other guests had gone you were still there.

ARCHIE:

I guess I just don't know how to say good-bye.

KRAMER:

You didn't know they were partners in a chemical company. You didn't know that Boyce had forged a lot of papers with Collins' name.

ARCHIE:

All I know is what you tell me.

KRAMER:

Goodwin.

ARCHIE:

Yes, sir?

KRAMER:

I'm trying to be nice.

ARCHIE:

Yes, Sir.

KRAMER:

Now I know, of course, that you went to that party because Nero Wolfe told you to.

ARCHIE:

Do you?

KRAMER:

My question is: How did Wolfe know it was gonna happen?

ARCHIE:

Why don't you ask him?

KRAMER:

I already have.

ARCHIE:

He told you?

KRAMER:

He says he never heard of Collins or Boyce.

ARCHIE:

Did he say he'd ever heard of me?

KRAMER:

He says he isn't responsible for you or your shady friends. Maybe he knows I found a poison pellet in Georgia's bag.

ARCHIE:

(PISSED) Inspector, may I make an important call?

KRAMER:

Go ahead.

FX:

Pick up phone, dial. Phone ringing

WOLFE:

(SLEEPILY) Archie! Archie? Confounded light.

FX:

PHONE SWITCHED ON, Phone continues to ring, pick up phone

WOLFE:

Hello.

ARCHIE:

(on FILTER) What time is it, master?

WOLFE:

Confound it, Archie.

ARCHIE:

(FILTER) I'll tell you what time it is. It's a little after four a.m. I'm at Central Headquarters and Inspector Kramer has been chatting with me about my shady friends.

WOLFE:

Kramer is a jackass.

ARCHIE:

(FILTER) Just a second. Pick up the other phone, will you, Inspector? Sorry, Mr. Wolfe, what was that you were saying about Inspector Kramer?

WOLFE:

I said Kramer is a JackAss.

ARCHIE:

(FILTER) Thank you.

KRAMER:

(FILTER) Wait a minute! Wolfe!

WOLFE:

Oh, eavesdropping, Inspector.

KRAMER:

(FILTER) I was just talking about bringing you down here for a little questioning, Wolfe.

WOLFE:

Phooey.

KRAMER:

(FILTER) What's that?

WOLFE:

Phooey. It can be spelled in several ways. I spell it P F U I. Phooey.

KRAMER:

(FILTER) You think I won't bring you down here as a material witness.

WOLFE:

Yes, I think you won't. I think you'd be making a great mistake if you did.

KRAMER:

(FILTER) A great mistake, why?

WOLFE:

Because I might not tell you who killed Collins. Then you wouldn't know which one of these people to prefer charges against. Now, send Archie home. Even he needs an occasional night's sleep.

FX:

hang up phone

WOLFE:

Laughing

KRAMER:

(FADING ON) What do you think of that, he hung up.

ARCHIE:

So it seems.

FX Dial Phone - busy signal (under conversation)

ARCHIE:

Busy. He's probably left the phone off the hook, Inspector. By now he's probably asleep again.

FX:

hang up phone

KRAMER:

Well, you know, I can go out there, don't you?

ARCHIE:

Sure you can. More important men than you have tried it. And where are they now?

KRAMER:

Goodwin.

ARCHIE:

Yes sir?

KRAMER:

I'm going to let you go.

ARCHIE:

I'm sure Mr. Wolfe and I are very grateful, Inspector.

KRAMER:

You want to know why I'm letting you go?

ARCHIE:

I know why.

KRAMER:

Why?

ARCHIE:

Because if you're nice and cooperative and don't make too much trouble, Mr. Wolfe will solve this case for you and tell whom to prefer charges against.

KRAMER:

Goodwin!

ARCHIE:

Sir?

KRAMER:

Get Out.

ARCHIE:

Thank you, Inspector.

FX:

Footsteps, door opening

ARCHIE:

Good morning, Inspector.

FX:

Footstep, door close.

MUSIC: Music up

ARCHIE:

At three o'clock the next afternoon I was rearranging the furniture in Nero Wolfe's office while the great man sat behind his desk watching me perspire.

WOLFE:

Are you finished now, Archie?

ARCHIE:

I guess so.

WOLFE:

And tell me where they sat.

ARCHIE:

There were two couches like this in front of a fire place. Collins and Boyce were sitting together on one couch. When Georgia and I came in, they were looking at some cancelled checks.

WOLFE:

Where was Mrs. Collins?

ARCHIE:

I told you, she was getting ice and fresh glasses.

WOLFE:

Why was she getting fresh glasses, Archie? Where were the empty ones?

ARCHIE:

I don't know. Maybe they were the same ones she brought back washed and polished.

WOLFE:

Archie, I trust your powers of observation absolutely. That's why I sent you to Mrs. Collins cocktail party.

ARCHIE:

O.K. How did you know there was going to be a murder? If it was a murder.

WOLFE: It was a murder, Archie. Wasn't it obvious?

ARCHIE:

How was it obvious? Suppose Collins slipped a few drops of the poison into his drink himself?

WOLFE:

It's very strong, very deadly poison. It has a remarkably strong odor.

ARCHIE:

Like almonds. I know, I smelled it when I picked him up.

WOLFE:

Archie, was anything found on the body that might have contained the poison? A fountain pen, whatever?

ARCHIE:

Not even that.

WOLFE:

Inspector Kramer found a poison pellet in Georgia's handbag. He think she poisoned Collins' drink.

ARCHIE:

Say, could be. But his wasn't his drink, it was his wife's. Then Georgia was trying to kill Jane and Collins got it by mistake.

WOLFE:

We shall soon see, Archie.

ARCHIE:

I was expecting a murder because you told me to expect it. I watched every move that everybody made. There's no possibility that Jane's glass, the glass with the poison in it was tampered with by anybody.

WOLFE:

This I believe.

ARCHIE:

O.K.

WOLFE:

Archie, you're sore, aren't you?

ARCHIE:

Have you ever spent the night with Inspector Kramer? He's really a good man, too. Why did you say he was a Jackass?

WOLFE:

Because he didn't know who killed Collins.

ARCHIE:

Do you?

WOLFE:

Of course. Was there ever any question about it?

ARCHIE:

Just a moment, please.

WOLFE:

The only trouble is, it may be difficult to prove. That's why we are giving this little cocktail party this afternoon with the help of Inspector Kramer. By the way...

ARCHIE:

Yes.

WOLFE:

Call Mrs. Collins and tell her to bring a bucket of ice from her refrigerator.

ARCHIE:

Why?

WOLFE:

Because our refrigerator has broken down.

ARCHIE:

No, it hasn't. I was just out in the kitchen a minute ago.

WOLFE:

Our refrigerator has broken down, and it would be very helpful if Mrs. Collins would bring a bucket of ice cubes.

ARCHIE:

What makes you think she'll do it?

WOLFE:

She will. Call her.

MUSIC:

MUSIC: BRIDGE AND under narration

ARCHIE:

6:45. There we were in Wolfe's office doing a repeat performance of last night's smash hit. Two couches faced each other. A cocktail table between them. On one couch, red headed Georgia and me. On the other couch, it was a big one, Joe Boyce, Jane Collins, widow of the lately defunct Albert, and Nero Wolfe. Jane had been drinking a little slower than the rest of us. Our glasses were empty. Hers was still half full. Wolfe said

WOLFE:

Archie?

ARCHIE:

Yeah?

WOLFE:

At this point in last night's party, Mrs. Collins got up and left to get some fresh drinks. Repeat what she said.

ARCHIE:

Approximately?

WOLFE:

Approximately will do.

ARCHIE:

I think she said something like this: She said, um, "Put my drink over by you, Georgia. Lay Off, Albert. I've had about three swallows of it. Besides you don't need any more, Albert." Am I right, Jane?

JANIE:

Close enough, Archie. But what of it?

JOE:

Now what is this nonsense all about, Wolfe?

JANIE:

Mr. Wolfe is trying to make something out of nothing.

GEORGIA:

I think Mr. Wolfe is going to turn up something mighty interesting. Don't look so perturbed, Joe.

WOLFE:

Since I'm doing the part of the late Mr. Collins. Pass me Jane's glass.

JANIE:

I'll keep my glass, Mr. Wolfe. I haven't finished my drink.

WOLFE:

You're a very clever woman, Mrs. Collins.

ARCHIE:

Would it be too much if I asked what this is all about?

WOLFE:

What bothers you, Archie?

ARCHIE:

You make it sound as if that drink she's holding is poisoned. But it can't be because as yesterday, she's already drunk half of it herself.

WOLFE:

When our freezer broke down, she was more than willing to bring a bucket of ice cubes, wasn't she?

ARCHIE:

So?

WOLFE:

What would happen, Archie, if you froze a gelatin coated pellet of poison in the center of one particular ice cube? Mrs. Collins hasn't finished her drink. Notice the ice is all melted now. She hasn't taken one sip since the ice melted completely. She came prepared in case she was exposed. Smell it, Archie.

JANIE:

No, Archie. Stand back. I can easily swallow this before you can reach me. Mr. Wolfe, in a few seconds I'll drink it. But tell me something first. Tell me how you knew.

JOE:

Jane, Jane. Listen to me.

WOLFE:

I knew there was going to be a murder last night because you said so. I knew that it was you who would commit the murder because it was you who invited me. You hoped an expert witness would prove that couldn't have killed your husband. So I sent Archie Goodwin, whose observations are always exact, even when he doesn't know the import of what he's observing.

ARCHIE:

She brought back clean glasses.. She poured the drinks out of bottles already opened. And if anybody had put anything or touched one of those glasses I would have seen it.

WOLFE:

Exactly. The poison pellet was frozen in a certain ice cube. Mrs. Collins put that cube in her own drink. Drank it until the ice had almost melted down to the poisonous pellet center. And then, then, she took all the other glasses away, leaving only hers half full. And as usual, her husband drank it.

JOE:

No, no, Jane. Don't, don't!

JANIE:

Too late, Joe. (PAUSE) Too late.

MUSIC:

Music up

ARCHIE:

Well, boss, Jane didn't get away with the suicide try. That was clever thinking you did.

WOLFE:

I prepared a cube of ice in which I had frozen a gelatin capsule containing nothing more than a vitamin compound. I substituted for the cube in which Jane had placed the poison for herself.

ARCHIE:

I wonder why Jane Collins wanted to have Joe. He'd stolen practically all the money in the company. He was just a crook.

WOLFE:

Birds of a feather, Archie. I don't believe Joe Boyce had any idea that Jane was planning a murder, and he still had all the money.

ARCHIE:

Well, the forgeries will put him away for a long time. And poor Georgia could have had it pinned on her if it hadn't been for me.

WOLFE:

(sarcastically) Yes, yes. You knew all along didn't you that Jane had planned to have Georgia accused by planting another pellet of the poison in Georgia's handbag. Jane would have gotten rid of her husband and Joe's wife in one stroke. You knew all that, didn't you?

ARCHIE:

Well, I.. I. Um. How about a bottle of beer, boss?

WOLFE:

(Chuckle) Could you spare the time?

ARCHIE:

Uhm, Georgia. Beautiful red head.

FX:

open beer

ARCHIE:

I wonder where she is tonight?

FX:

Pour beer

WOLFE:

I am sure I haven't the slightest idea, but in case you do, (chuckle) well, just be quiet with the elevator door when you come in. Ahhhhhh

FX:

MUSIC UP CURTAIN

ANNCR:

You have been listening to the New Adventures of Nero Wolfe.

MUSIC:

THEME Music up

ANNCR:

Tonight's transcribed story by Mondret Lord was based on the characters created by Rex Stout. This is an Edwin Fatiman program, produced and directed by J. Donald Wilson. In the cast were Harry Bartell as Archie Goodwin, and Larry Dobkin as Nero Wolfe. Jo Anna March as Jane Collins, with Charles Flynn as her husband. Georgia Boyce was played by Norma Jean Nilsson, her hubby was Herb Ellis. Tyler McVey was Inspector Kramer. Also in the cast was Sandra Gould. I am Merrill Mael. Our director was Herb Ellis, sound was provided by Ray Erlenborn and Stewart Conway. Music by Esther Geddes. Next week at this same time, Nero Wolfe and Archie will bring you The Case of the Malevolent Medic..

This was recorded before a live audience at REPS Showcase 7. Stay tuned for Just Sittin' Around and Visting Part 1. Tomorrow's broadcast day will be featuring Jack Armstrong, Red Ryder, Suspense, and the Alan Young Show.

(PAUSE) Three chimes mean good times on N. B. C.