Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Crime Club
Show: No Time for Murder
Date: Sep 25 1947

CAST:
LIBRARIAN
DIXIE, nightclub dancer with French accent
STEVE, nightclub owner, tough but suave
PETER, lawyer
OFFICER, Irish accent
JUDGE (1 line)
HILDA, Peter's fiancée
ANDREWS, kindly, German-accented clock repairman
MONA, working class accent
ANNOUNCER (1 line)

SOUND:

NETWORK TIME SIGNAL ... THEN PHONE RINGS TWICE, IS PICKED UP

LIBRARIAN:

(INTO PHONE) Hello, I hope I haven't kept you waiting. ... Yes, this is the Crime Club. ... I'm the Librarian. ... "No Time for Murder"? ... Yes, we have that story for you. Come right over.

MUSIC:

THEME ... IN AND OUT

SOUND:

DOORBELL CHIMES SULLENLY ... DOOR OPENS

LIBRARIAN:

Ah! You're here. Good.

SOUND:

DOOR SHUTS

LIBRARIAN:

Take the easy chair by the window. ... Comfortable? The manuscript is on this shelf.

MUSIC:

AN ACCENT ... IN AND UNDER

LIBRARIAN:

Here it is -- "No Time for Murder." The very intriguing story of a clock - that chimed in with ... Death. Let's look at it under the reading lamp.

It was early evening, and Peter Woods, a young lawyer, had time to kill before his appointment with Hilda Ryan, his fiancée. So, he took a walk along Madison Avenue, which was practically deserted.

SOUND:

PETER'S FOOTSTEPS ON SIDEWALK ... STOPS BEHIND--

LIBRARIAN:

Then, he stopped to window-browse outside a book shop. He was just getting interested in some of the titles when he was joined by a couple.

SOUND:

COUPLE'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH AND STOP

STEVE:

What are you stopping here for, Dixie?

DIXIE:

Maybe I like books.

STEVE:

Maybe you don't. Maybe you're just stalling for time, huh?

DIXIE:

(IN PAIN) Oh, Steve! Oh, let go of my arm! You are hurting me!

STEVE:

Am I? Then let's get moving.

DIXIE:

(DEFIANT) No!

STEVE:

Now, you don't really mean that, do you, baby?

DIXIE:

(IN PAIN) Steve! Ooooh!

PETER:

Excuse me, mister. I don't like to break into a love scene--

STEVE:

Well, then don't, pal!

PETER:

Take your hand off her!

STEVE:

Okay, Sir Galahad. Now I'll give it to you!

DIXIE:

No, Steve, don't!

PETER:

(GRUNTS WITH EFFORT BEHIND--)

SOUND:

PUNCH! PETER SOCKS STEVE IN THE JAW ... STEVE COLLAPSES BEHIND--

STEVE:

(GROANS)

DIXIE:

(STARTLED, IMPRESSED) Oh, you - you knocked him out!

PETER:

(SURPRISED) Huh?

DIXIE:

With one punch!

PETER:

(REALIZES) Yeah. (NERVOUS CHUCKLE) Maybe I'm stronger than I thought.

DIXIE:

(CHUCKLES) What is your name, honey?

PETER:

Uh, Peter Woods.

DIXIE:

Oh, Peter, darling, how can I thank you?

PETER:

Oh, now look, Dixie--

DIXIE:

If it had not been for you I would have been--

OFFICER:

(APPROACHES) Hey, what's going on here?

PETER:

Oh, you're just in time, officer. This girl was being molested.

OFFICER:

Yeah? By who?

PETER:

Ah, that man down-- (STOPS SHORT)

OFFICER:

(BEAT) What man down where, buddy?

PETER:

Why, uh, he's disappeared. He was just lying there, officer.

OFFICER:

Let me smell your breath.

PETER:

I'm not drunk! Ask this lady, she'll tell you what happened.

DIXIE:

You bet I will. Officer, this man, Peter Woods, he tried to kill me!

PETER:

You hear that? And if I hadn't stepped in, why-- (TO DIXIE) What? What did you say?

DIXIE:

You tried to kill me! And all because-- (BREAKS DOWN IN TEARS)

OFFICER:

(COMFORTING) There, there, lady. There now. We've got a place for men like him.

PETER:

Now, wait a minute; this girl's framing me!

OFFICER:

Yeah? Well, tell it to the judge. He's a great one for fairy tales.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

JUDGE:

The accused, Peter Woods, having been charged by the complainant, Dixie Martell, with felonious assault with intent to kill, is remanded for questioning by the grand jury of this county. Bail is hereby set at one thousand dollars.

MUSIC:

BRIEF TRANSITION

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS, IS PICKED UP

HILDA:

Hello, Hilda Ryan speaking. And if it's you, Peter Woods--

PETER:

(FILTER) It's me, Peter Woods.

HILDA:

Don't you dare say another word.

PETER:

(FILTER) I'm sorry, Hilda.

HILDA:

You had an appointment to meet me here at my apartment at seven o'clock. You were going to take me out to dinner, and to the theatre for the first time in six months.

PETER:

(FILTER) I - I know, dear.

HILDA:

It's eleven o'clock now. Well?

PETER:

(FILTER) I, er, got tied up, honey.

HILDA:

Why didn't you call me?

PETER:

(FILTER) I'm in the district attorney's office.

HILDA:

Hmm?

PETER:

(FILTER) I'd rather be with you, darling.

HILDA:

Oh, of course. Well, as long as you're working on a case.

PETER:

(FILTER) Yes, honey, and - it's all mine.

HILDA:

Well, I should hope so! You know what I think of lawyers who split fees.

PETER:

(FILTER) You don't understand, dear. I'm the defendant, too.

HILDA:

You?

PETER:

(FILTER) I'm being held for the grand jury.

HILDA:

Good heavens, what have you done?

PETER:

(FILTER) Nothing.

HILDA:

Oh, no.

PETER:

(FILTER) I mean it. I never saw that girl before in my life.

HILDA:

What girl?

PETER:

(FILTER) Dixie Martell. I was walking along Madison Avenue and she and a fellow by the name of--

HILDA:

What did she say you did to her?

PETER:

(FILTER) Assault.

HILDA:

What?

PETER:

(FILTER) With intent to kill. But she's out of her mind.

HILDA:

Why?

PETER:

(FILTER) She told the judge in night court that I tried to pick her up.

HILDA:

(GASPS)

PETER:

(FILTER) All right, dear, you're against me, too. I guess I'll be better off in jail.

HILDA:

(DISMAYED) Jail?

PETER:

(FILTER) Well, that's where they're going to take me now. And if a jury believes that girl, I'll go to Sing Sing for five years. And I'll be disbarred.

HILDA:

(SYMPATHETIC) Oh, Pete.

PETER:

(FILTER) Feel sorry for me now?

HILDA:

I'm just a big dope.

PETER:

(FILTER) Darling. If you could come down to the D.A.'s office and bring a thousand dollars--

HILDA:

Bring a what?

PETER:

(FILTER) My bail money. Otherwise I'll have to stay in jail until the grand jury gets around to me.

HILDA:

But where am I going to get a thousand dollars now?

PETER:

(FILTER) How about your relatives?

HILDA:

I've been lending them money.

PETER:

(FILTER) Oh. Uh, well, can you get it here by morning?

HILDA:

That means I'll have to go to the bank.

PETER:

(FILTER) Hilda, I love ya.

HILDA:

(UNHAPPY) Oh, my trousseau money--

PETER:

(FILTER) You'll get it back! And we'll be married right after the jury says "not guilty."

HILDA:

(POINTED) Yes. And it better say not guilty, or I'll see that you get life!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

DOORBELL BUZZES

HILDA:

(BEAT) Pete, if your girlfriend were home--

PETER:

She's not my girlfriend, Hilda.

HILDA:

Well, all right then. If Dixie Martell were in her apartment, she'd have opened that door long ago.

PETER:

Don't think I haven't thought of it.

SOUND:

DOORBELL BUZZES

HILDA:

Then why do you keep buzzing?

PETER:

Hope springs eternal.

HILDA:

Well, come on, we'll get some lunch and then come back. Maybe by that time--

PETER:

I'm not giving up the watch, darling.

HILDA:

But we could be eating!

PETER:

I'm going to be here when Dixie comes home and she's going to tell me why she cooked up that--

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

HILDA:

(SURPRISED) Pete!

PETER:

Take it easy, Hilda. It's not "The Mysterious Traveler."

HILDA:

But - the door?

PETER:

I leaned against it.

HILDA:

Then it wasn't locked.

PETER:

(IRONIC) Now, how did you figure that out, darling?

HILDA:

Well, you said-- (SIGHS) Listen to me, Peter Woods. The next time you get into trouble, get somebody else to put up bail for you.

PETER:

All right, find me another girl with trousseau money.

HILDA:

(CONCERNED) Pete--

PETER:

Have you got one?

HILDA:

Are you going in there?

PETER:

Of course.

HILDA:

But I--

PETER:

We came here to see Dixie. Does that mean we've got to stand in the hall till she gets here?

HILDA:

I know, dear, but--

PETER:

We can be sitting down. Look, comfortable chairs. And a sofa.

HILDA:

Pete, isn't there a law in this state against unlawful entry?

PETER:

In a lot of states, Hilda.

HILDA:

Then why take chances of being arrested again? Aren't you in enough trouble?

PETER:

Hm?

HILDA:

How many grand juries do you want to face?

PETER:

You're right, sweetheart. Let's go back to the hall.

HILDA:

(GASPS)

PETER:

Well, come on, will you? Before Dixie barges in.

HILDA:

(SPEECHLESS WITH SHOCK) Ah-- Ah--

PETER:

What's the matter with you?

HILDA:

Look. Behind the open door.

PETER:

Don't tell me it's-- Good grief!

HILDA:

Is that - Dixie Martell?

PETER:

(BEAT, SLOWLY) It was, Hilda.

HILDA:

(QUIET) Oh, Pete!

PETER:

(WRY) Now it's just her mortal remains.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

HILDA:

Well, Pete?

PETER:

Yeah, she was strangled, Hilda.

HILDA:

Ohhh. Took you a long time to find out.

PETER:

I was looking for a bullet wound or a knife wound, you know--

HILDA:

I'd rather not. (MOANS QUIETLY BEHIND--)

PETER:

Then I noticed the marks on her throat. I thought there'd be fingerprint impressions, but there weren't. Whoever killed her must have worn gloves or used a-- What's the matter, Hilda? Don't you feel well?

HILDA:

I couldn't feel worse.

PETER:

Come on, let's get over to the window.

HILDA:

That won't do any good.

PETER:

Fresh air.

HILDA:

Let's get out of here, Pete.

PETER:

I can't.

HILDA:

You're not hypnotized, are you?

PETER:

I can't run away from it, Hilda.

HILDA:

What are you talking about?

PETER:

Murder.

HILDA:

Hmmm?

PETER:

Dixie's murder. The police will say I did it.

HILDA:

(SKEPTICAL) Oh, now--

PETER:

Don't kid yourself, honey. They'd say it. And I'll have the devil's own time proving I didn't.

HILDA:

But what about me? Don't you think I'll have something to say?

PETER:

Yeah.

HILDA:

After all, it isn't as if you found Dixie dead and then told me about it.

PETER:

Yeah.

HILDA:

I was with you. And I've been with you all morning.

PETER:

That's the trouble, darling.

HILDA:

What?

PETER:

You posted bail for me.

HILDA:

Now, what in the world does that mean?

PETER:

You've got a special interest in me. And when we tell the police and the District Attorney that we're engaged to be married--

HILDA:

(REALIZES) Ohhh.

PETER:

Understand?

HILDA:

They'll say I'm prejudiced in your favor and therefore-- Oh, but, Pete, what are we gonna do?

PETER:

There's only one thing, Hilda.

HILDA:

Yes?

PETER:

I'm a lawyer, and an officer of the court, and I'm not supposed to do it.

HILDA:

Hmm?

PETER:

I'm not supposed to conceal a crime.

HILDA:

Uh huh.

PETER:

As a matter of fact, no citizen should conceal a crime from the police. But in this case--

HILDA:

Thanks for coming out of the "wherefores."

PETER:

What?

HILDA:

Let's have the "To wit."

PETER:

I don't follow you, Hilda.

HILDA:

Don't try. You just got lost in your legal training.

PETER:

As I was saying. In this case--

HILDA:

You're not going to tell the police about Dixie Martell.

PETER:

That's right.

HILDA:

But, Pete, we can't just leave her here.

PETER:

We'll have to, honey, until I find out who killed her.

STEVE:

(APPROACHES) Very, very interesting.

HILDA:

(GASPS)

PETER:

Oh, hello, Steve.

STEVE:

You're a lawyer, huh? Hmmm. What law school'd you go to?

PETER:

Not the one you're going to, Steve.

STEVE:

Oh, I've been there. And I learned the value of a closed door.

HILDA:

Pete?

PETER:

It's too late, Hilda. The horse is in. (TO STEVE) Uh, let's take a look at that eye, Steve.

STEVE:

From where you're standing.

PETER:

Don't be afraid. I won't hurt your gun.

HILDA:

Pete, is that the man you told me about?

PETER:

Yeah, the guy who threatened Dixie and got clipped.

STEVE:

Nice shade of blue I'm wearing this season, huh?

HILDA:

Why did you come here, Steve?

STEVE:

Why?

HILDA:

I mean, at this particular time.

STEVE:

I get impulses, baby.

HILDA:

Like the one that strangled Dixie?

STEVE:

What? (LAUGHS)

PETER:

Don't try to laugh it off, Steve. She tried to get away from you last night.

STEVE:

You don't say.

PETER:

Are you denying it?

STEVE:

(LAUGHS)

PETER:

You killed her, Steve. And before you left the building, you saw Hilda and me coming in. So you hung around.

STEVE:

Just to nab you with the goods, huh?

PETER:

Why did you kill her?

STEVE:

Listen, pal, would your name be Peter Woods?

PETER:

Never mind changing the subject.

STEVE:

That's what I thought. Yeah, I knew I saw that face someplace.

PETER:

Madison Avenue.

STEVE:

Magistrate's court, last night. Say, is it true what Dixie said about you?

PETER:

Okay, Steve, play dumb.

STEVE:

She was a friend of mine, Pete, and now look at her behind the door. (CLICKS HIS TONGUE) Oh, well. We'll have to tell the police about this, Petey boy.

PETER:

Get away from that phone.

STEVE:

Don't be ridiculous. It's a public utility.

SOUND:

PICKS UP PHONE

HILDA:

(SCREAMS)

SOUND:

SCUFFLE! BETWEEN PETER AND STEVE, DURING FOLLOWING--

PETER:

(WITH EFFORT) I'm with you, Steve.

STEVE:

(STRUGGLES) Oh, you dumb cluck.

PETER:

No, you dumb cluck. A lady screams and you turn around. (SARCASTIC) Gentleman Steve.

STEVE:

I'll break you in half.

HILDA:

Swing him around this way, Pete. I'll hit him with this flowerpot.

PETER:

All right, Hilda?

HILDA:

It's not all right. Can't you two stop dancing for a minute?

STEVE:

I'll kill you, Woods.

PETER:

Now, Hilda!

HILDA:

(WITH EFFORT) Now!

SOUND:

CRASH! OF FLOWERPOT ... SCUFFLE ENDS

HILDA:

There! That does it!

PETER:

(GROANS)

SOUND:

THUD! AS PETER'S BODY HITS THE FLOOR

STEVE:

(BEAT, CHUCKLES) Thanks, you fatal charmer.

HILDA:

Pete? Oh, Pete darling! (BEAT) I got the wrong man.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

PETER:

(WAKES, GROGGY, MUMBLES INDECIPHERABLE)

HILDA:

Pete?

PETER:

(RELIVING HIS LAST CONSCIOUS MOMENT, WEAKLY) All right, Hilda -- now!

HILDA:

Pete, will you ever forgive me?

PETER:

Now, Hilda--

HILDA:

It's all over, darling. I hit you by mistake.

PETER:

Dumb cluck. A lady screams and-- (EXHALES) What did you say?

HILDA:

I was all set to hit him, Pete, and then - he swung you around and I--

PETER:

Oh, my aching head.

HILDA:

Is there - something you'd like me to do?

PETER:

Yes. But not now. Where's Steve?

HILDA:

He left. With his gun.

PETER:

Didn't he phone the police?

HILDA:

No.

PETER:

Uh huh. So he was bluffing. Uh, help me up.

HILDA:

Sit there for a minute. I've got something I'd like you to see.

PETER:

Hilda--

HILDA:

This piece of paper.

PETER:

What is it?

HILDA:

Read it.

PETER:

All right -- if I can see straight. Hmmm. Repair ticket for a clock. So?

HILDA:

Well, when I hit you on the head with the flowerpot, the pot broke and this ticket fell out.

PETER:

Hmmm. (READS) "Karl Andrews, Jewelry Sold, Clocks Repaired, Nine Eighty East Sixty-Ninth Street."

HILDA:

That should be on the next block, Pete.

PETER:

Now, why should Dixie bury a repair ticket for an ordinary clock?

HILDA:

Maybe it isn't an ordinary clock.

PETER:

Uh huh. Help me up, sweetheart. I think I've seen everything.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

SHOP DOOR OPENS, BELL RINGS ... PETER AND HILDA'S FOOTSTEPS IN ... SHOP DOOR CLOSES

ANDREWS:

(VERY PLEASANT) Ah, good afternoon. Can I help you?

PETER:

Are you Mr. Karl Andrews?

ANDREWS:

(CHUCKLE) I have been, for fifty-six years. Now, what can I do for you?

HILDA:

Uh, we have a ticket for a clock that was left here by Dixie Martell.

ANDREWS:

Miss Dixie Martell? Oh, yes, yes. May I have the ticket, please?

PETER:

Mm hm.

ANDREWS:

Thank you, sir. Now, let me see. Where did I put that clock? Oh, yes, yes, yes, I remember! Here it is. (CHUCKLE) Shall I wrap it up?

PETER:

Let's see it first.

ANDREWS:

Oh, of course.

HILDA:

(SURPRISED) Why, Pete, it's beautiful.

PETER:

Yeah.

HILDA:

Now, what would Dixie be doing with a--?

PETER:

Well, you never can tell, Hilda. Maybe she used it to tell time.

HILDA:

But a thing like that--

ANDREWS:

It's a real antique, ma'am.

HILDA:

Well, that's what I mean, Mr. Andrews.

ANDREWS:

And very expensive. A collector's item, if you don't mind my saying so.

HILDA:

Oh, we don't mind.

ANDREWS:

Then perhaps you won't mind if I ask you a question.

HILDA:

Hm?

ANDREWS:

I am responsible for this clock and-- Well, you are strangers to me. Of course you brought in the ticket, but--

PETER:

You want to know how we got it.

ANDREWS:

Yes. Please don't be offended.

PETER:

We're not. A straight question calls for a straight answer.

ANDREWS:

Thank you so much.

PETER:

We got it from Dixie.

HILDA:

Uh, Miss Martell to you.

ANDREWS:

Naturally.

PETER:

(UNCONVINCING) She had to go away -- a long vacation -- and she--

ANDREWS:

Oh, the poor girl. I told her she was working too hard. I guess being a nightclub dancer is a very difficult profession.

HILDA:

It, er, keeps a girl on her toes, Mr. Andrews.

ANDREWS:

Of course I do hate to lose a good customer, but - what is best for her, is-- Well, you understand.

PETER:

Perfectly.

ANDREWS:

Will she be coming back someday?

PETER:

I don't think so. Her plans were very definite.

ANDREWS:

Oh, that is too bad. Well, if you should see her employer, tell him I'm sorry he's lost such a good performer.

HILDA:

Do you know her employer, too?

ANDREWS:

(CHUCKLES) Oh, indeed, I do. Mr. Jackson is one of my best customers. He owns the Pelican Club on West Forty-Ninth Street, you know. (CHUCKLES) And the clocks there--

PETER:

Are never on time.

ANDREWS:

(CHUCKLES) I see you know, Mr. Jackson. Are you sure you wouldn't like me to wrap that clock for you?

PETER:

Sure.

ANDREWS:

Well, then, if you'll excuse me, I'll go back to my work. (MOVING OFF) People get so angry when their clocks are not ready on time. Good day.

HILDA:

Same to you!

SOUND:

PETER AND HILDA'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR, DURING FOLLOWING--

HILDA:

(TO PETER) Now, there's a sweet old man.

PETER:

Uh huh.

HILDA:

(A BROAD HINT) Pete, the next time we have a clock that needs fixing or some jewelry that needs buying--

PETER:

I'll keep it in mind.

SOUND:

SHOP DOOR OPENS, BELL RINGS ... PETER AND HILDA'S FOOTSTEPS OUT THE DOOR ... SHOP DOOR CLOSES ... THEN PETER AND HILDA'S FOOTSTEPS ON SIDEWALK ... TRAFFIC BACKGROUND

PETER:

Hilda, didn't you notice something queer about that sweet old man?

HILDA:

Queer?

PETER:

He didn't ask me to pay him.

HILDA:

Pay him for what?

PETER:

The work he did on the clock.

HILDA:

Oh. Well, maybe Dixie did that before. You know, in advance.

PETER:

Boy, how you women stick together. Come on, let's get a cab.

HILDA:

Pete, are you crazy?

PETER:

You'll find out.

HILDA:

This isn't Utopia. Cab rides cost money.

PETER:

Take a look at the back of this clock.

HILDA:

A metal plaque.

PETER:

Read it.

HILDA:

(READS) "From the collection of S. Parker Jackson." (TO PETER) Well, all right. Mr. Andrews said--

PETER:

Don't you get it, honey? S. Parker Jackson.

HILDA:

(MYSTIFIED) Excuse me, dear; this is my dumb afternoon.

PETER:

S. Parker Jackson might be the fancy moniker for a guy named Steve.

HILDA:

(REALIZES) Oh. Oh!

PETER:

Don't explode, darling. I need you.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

TRAFFIC BACKGROUND, AS HEARD FROM INSIDE A CAB ... RATCHET! OF CLOCK AS HILDA WINDS IT UP, DURING FOLLOWING--

PETER:

Ah, this darn traffic. It'll take us a year to get there.

HILDA:

Oh, well.

PETER:

Hilda, for jiminy's sake, will you stop playing with that clock?

HILDA:

I'm only trying to wind it, Pete.

SOUND:

STOPS WINDING CLOCK

PETER:

Only trying? You've been turning that gimmick for ten minutes. You must have broken the spring.

HILDA:

We'll find out.

SOUND:

NOISY CLANKING! OF CLOCK

PETER:

See?

SOUND:

MORE CLANKING! AS HILDA SHAKES THE CLOCK

PETER:

Hey, take it easy. That thing's an antique. You'll shake the guts out of it.

SOUND:

CLANKING STOPS AS CLOCK DRAWER SPRINGS OPEN

HILDA:

I've shaken something out of it.

PETER:

A drawer.

HILDA:

In the base of the clock. Pete, look what's in it.

PETER:

Lemme see.

HILDA:

Stuck with glue or something.

PETER:

Hilda, I love you.

HILDA:

Hmmm?

PETER:

These are diamonds.

HILDA:

What? Those four pieces of glass?

PETER:

Uncut diamonds. I'll bet this drawer wasn't in the clock when Steve Jackson bought it.

HILDA:

Pete, do you know what you're talking about?

PETER:

I've got an idea. Those robberies in the diamond center for the past year.

HILDA:

Oh, no.

PETER:

You've read about them, haven't you?

HILDA:

Yes.

PETER:

All right, dear, you're getting off at the next corner.

HILDA:

Oh, now, Pete--

PETER:

No arguments, honey. I've got plans.

HILDA:

And I've got a thousand dollars wrapped up in you. Hard-earned money.

PETER:

Do this for me and I'll owe you my life.

HILDA:

Would you go to the Pelican Club without me?

PETER:

Yes, dear. But you'll be there, too. In spirit.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

TICKING! OF NUMEROUS CLOCKS

STEVE:

(CROONING WORDLESSLY TO HIMSELF)

SOUND:

OFFICE DOOR OPENS

PETER:

(APPROACHES, CHEERFUL) Hello, Mr. Jackson!

STEVE:

Huh? (LIGHTLY) Well, Pete! Well, if it isn't my old friend. Come in.

SOUND:

OFFICE DOOR SHUTS

STEVE:

How's your head?

PETER:

S. Parker Jackson.

STEVE:

Yeah, I come from good stock, bottle and bond.

PETER:

(IRONIC) Yeah.

STEVE:

How, uh--? How'd you get in here?

PETER:

I walked. This is quite an office you've got.

STEVE:

Mmmmm. I like comfort.

PETER:

And those clocks on the walls. Some collection. Eh, mind if I look at them?

STEVE:

Who, um--? Who told you about this place?

PETER:

A clock that Dixie had given to Mr. Karl Andrews for repair.

STEVE:

Andrews? Ooooh, Andrews. He, uh-- He does all my repair work.

PETER:

Yes, so he said.

STEVE:

(SERIOUS) Where is that clock?

PETER:

How much is it worth to you?

STEVE:

Let's say -- your life?

PETER:

Ooh, you talk big.

STEVE:

Where's that clock, Pete?

PETER:

Now, look, Steve, I'm a lawyer; I get paid for asking questions.

STEVE:

You'll get paid off, if ya--

PETER:

Yeah?

STEVE:

Okay, name your price.

PETER:

Why does that clock mean so much to you?

STEVE:

It's valuable. It's the only one of its kind in the world.

PETER:

A portable diamond mine, hm?

STEVE:

What'd you say?

PETER:

I'm giving the answers now, Steve. All those clocks on the walls -- those rare antique clocks -- are loaded with diamonds that were stolen from the diamond center.

STEVE:

That crack you got on the skull went right through to the brain, didn't it?

PETER:

Right through, with a ticket. Now, let's have it, Mr. S. Parker Jackson. You killed Dixie Martell because she stole one of your clocks with diamonds in it.

STEVE:

"Killed Dixie Martell"?

PETER:

Remember that body behind the door?

STEVE:

There's a hospital a few blocks from here. You better go there right away. "Killed Dixie Martell"? (LAUGHS)

PETER:

That's very funny, isn't it?

STEVE:

Oh, it's a riot. A body behind the door! You've been seein' things, pal.

PETER:

Now, wait a minute--

STEVE:

Dixie, a corpse? Wait till she hears about this. Come on, I want you to tell her.

PETER:

What?

STEVE:

Dixie Martell. She's upstairs rehearsing a new number.

PETER:

You mean that she's here, in this club?

STEVE:

Yeah. All here.

PETER:

But-- Well, then-- Who was the dead girl in her apartment?

STEVE:

Dead girl? What dead girl?

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

STEVE:

Rehearsal room, Pete. Last stop.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS ... TAP DANCING, WITH PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT, OFF -- CONTINUES IN BG ... DOOR SHUTS

PETER:

(BEAT) Huh. So that's Dixie, huh?

STEVE:

Always was, pal. I'll introduce you to her. (CALLS) Cut it, baby!

MONA:

(OFF) Just a sec. (TO PIANIST) Hold it, Gus.

SOUND:

TAPPING AND PIANO OUT ... MONA WALKS TO STEVE

MONA:

(EXHALES, A LITTLE BREATHLESS) Hiya, Steve! Like the new routine?

STEVE:

(NONCOMMITTAL) Yeah. Uh, Dixie, I want you to meet Peter Woods.

MONA:

Hello. (HOPEFUL) From Hollywood?

STEVE:

Nah. From hunger. He's a lawyer.

MONA:

(DISAPPOINTED) Oh. Well, if he's a friend of yours.

PETER:

Now, listen, Miss Whatsyername--

MONA:

It's Dixie Martell, honey.

PETER:

Yeah? Since when?

MONA:

Since-- Say, what is this, Steve -- a census taker?

STEVE:

A jerk, baby. Thinks you're a corpse.

MONA:

Wha--? A what?

STEVE:

You know, what people say nice things about.

PETER:

You're misrepresenting her, Steve. She's not the girl we saw.

STEVE:

She's Dixie Martell, Pete.

PETER:

But she's not the-- And you know it!

MONA:

Don't you tell me who I am!

PETER:

All right, I won't. But I'll tell you what you are.

MONA:

Yeah? Go 'head.

PETER:

You're a--

MONA:

(BEAT) Waitin', mister.

PETER:

You're a--

MONA:

Well?

PETER:

What's the difference? You're not Dixie Martell.

MONA:

Get him out o' here, Steve.

STEVE:

(LAUGHS)

MONA:

Get him out before I wrap him up for burial.

STEVE:

Funny scene. Quite a funny scene.

MONA:

(TO STEVE) What's the matter with you, huh? Ah, I've got work to do. New routine that's gotta be ready by tonight.

STEVE:

Well, then, work. Let's go, Pete.

PETER:

Yeah. Well, goodbye, Miss Whatsyername.

MONA:

(MOVING OFF) Oh, go feed yourself to the squirrels!

STEVE:

(CHUCKLES) Some number, huh?

PETER:

Yes, that's what I been thinkin'. Uh, let's go down to your office, Steve. Maybe I'll find a number for you, too.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

TICKING! OF NUMEROUS CLOCKS

STEVE:

And, uh, here, Pete. Some of the publicity we've sent out on Dixie. It'll break in tonight's papers.

PETER:

With or without pictures?

STEVE:

With. Here's a couple of the pictures.

SOUND:

SHUFFLE OF PHOTOS

PETER:

Oh. Steve, either you're a guy with plenty of gall or you're just plain--

STEVE:

You're getting weaker, pal.

PETER:

These are pictures of the girl upstairs.

STEVE:

Dixie Martell.

PETER:

What's the gag? Who do you think you're gonna kid with this stunt?

STEVE:

Oh, you're getting tough again.

PETER:

Now, look, Steve, I'm not crazy. And neither is Hilda. There was a dead girl in that apartment. We all saw her. You were going to phone the police.

STEVE:

Was I?

PETER:

That girl was Dixie Martell. And the girl upstairs--

STEVE:

Well, I have a feeling-- I don't know, but perhaps I could make a call--

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS

STEVE:

Excuse me, pal.

SOUND:

PHONE IS PICKED UP

STEVE:

Yeah? Come in.

HILDA:

(FILTER, IMPERSONATES DIXIE) Oh, so you're still talking.

STEVE:

Who? Me? What is this?

HILDA:

(FILTER) Don't tell me you don't know. Or aren't the dead supposed to be heard?

STEVE:

What?

HILDA:

(FILTER) Yes! You recognize the voice now, don't you? Dixie Martell!

STEVE:

(UNCONVINCED) No.

HILDA:

(FILTER) How does it feel listening to a ghost?

STEVE:

I'll let you know.

HILDA:

(FILTER) You thought I was dead, didn't you? You were so sure. The guy who does such a perfect job on everything.

STEVE:

(PLAYS ALONG) Now, wait a minute, sweetheart. So you're mad. Okay, but, er--

HILDA:

(FILTER) You tried to kill me. And why? Just because I swiped one of your lousy clocks with diamonds in it. Was that a reason for murder?

STEVE:

Oh, that's, er, that's a big question, honey; I can't answer it now.

HILDA:

(FILTER) That's all right with me, Steve. You're through!

SOUND:

SHE HANGS UP ... PHONE DISCONNECTS (STEVE'S PERSPECTIVE)

STEVE:

(HEMS AND HAWS)

PETER:

Women trouble, Steve?

STEVE:

Sorta.

SOUND:

HE HANGS UP

PETER:

Well, then you have too many.

STEVE:

It was your girl, Pete.

PETER:

Huh?

STEVE:

Hilda. You put her up to it, didn't you?

PETER:

Now, chum, if I knew what you were talking about--

STEVE:

She makes a very bad ghost, chum.

PETER:

Oooooh, that.

STEVE:

Yeeeeeeah.

PETER:

(SHARP) Don't reach for that gun, Steve; I've got one right here in my pocket.

STEVE:

That fact or fiction?

PETER:

Don't try to find out.

STEVE:

(BEAT, CHUCKLES) Once a lawyer, always a lawyer.

PETER:

What does that mean?

STEVE:

How much?

PETER:

For you, two thousand volts.

STEVE:

How 'bout fifty thousand bucks for you?

PETER:

In cash?

STEVE:

In cash.

PETER:

All right, Steve. Get on that phone and call the police.

STEVE:

No dice, huh?

PETER:

The police, pal.

STEVE:

Okay. What do I tell them?

PETER:

About diamonds and Dixie and death.

STEVE:

You're really nuts.

PETER:

Squirrel food. And while you're dialing the operator, you can tell me all about that girl upstairs you had posing as Dixie Martell.

STEVE:

Ohhhhh, you mean - Mona?

PETER:

Mona. A not so delectable slice of ham.

STEVE:

Oh, you're wrong, pal. She's very -- delectable.

MONA:

(GRUNTS WITH EFFORT AS--)

SOUND:

SHE WHACKS PETER ON THE HEAD

PETER:

(GASPS)

SOUND:

PETER COLLAPSES TO FLOOR

STEVE:

(CHUCKLES) Very delectable.

MONA:

(CHUCKLES AFFECTIONATELY)

STEVE:

Nice work, Mona. Your timing was perfect.

MONA:

Oh, thanks for leaving the door open, Steve.

STEVE:

Eh, everybody wants to get in the act. But you, baby -- you belong.

MONA:

(CHUCKLES AFFECTIONATELY) What'll we do with him?

STEVE:

Ah, leave him there. Come on. Help me get the clocks down from the walls.

MONA:

Clocks? But, Steve, we--

STEVE:

Come on, honey. Time marches on. We've got to keep in step.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

HILDA:

(WORRIED) Pete? (NO ANSWER) Pete?

PETER:

(MOANS, WAKES, RELIVING THE EARLIER FIGHT, MUMBLES) Now, Hilda! All right, Hilda -- now!

HILDA:

I didn't do it, Pete. You can't blame me for everything that happens to you. Now, get up.

PETER:

(MUMBLES) Oh, yeah, yeah, get up. (FULLY CONSCIOUS, SURPRISED) Hilda!

HILDA:

(IRONIC) How do you do?

PETER:

(SIGHS) What happened to me?

HILDA:

That's what I'd like to know.

PETER:

How did I get down--? Oh, yeah. Somebody hit me on the head.

HILDA:

Who?

PETER:

I don't know. Steve was standing over there. I had him covered with a gun I didn't have in my pocket.

HILDA:

(DRY) A gun you didn't have?

PETER:

I took a chance and he fell for it. Then he-- I know!

HILDA:

Oh, now we'll get someplace.

PETER:

It was Mona. It must have been Mona.

HILDA:

Who's Mona?

PETER:

That girl in the rehearsal room who pretended to be-- Hey, the clocks! What happened to the clocks?!

HILDA:

Huh?

PETER:

The clocks that were in this room. The walls were covered with 'em.

HILDA:

Pete, you poor darling, you're delirious. Two hits on the head in one day--

PETER:

(TO HIMSELF) They're gone -- Steve, Mona, clocks and diamonds! Beat it!

HILDA:

Are you talking to me?

PETER:

No, no, no! The clocks that were full of diamonds! And those two killers!

HILDA:

Oh, dear-- You mean I was Dixie's ghost for nothing?

PETER:

Hilda, don't you realize? The evidence is gone. And sooner or later somebody will find Dixie's body in her apartment. The police will start asking me a lot of questions. What'll I tell 'em?

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

ANDREWS:

Oh, excuse me.

PETER:

Oh, hello.

ANDREWS:

I'm looking for Mr. S. Parker Jackson. I have-- (VAGUELY RECOGNIZES HILDA AND PETER) Ohhhh! Haven't I seen you two before someplace?

PETER:

Why, of course you have. We were the two folks who, er-- You remember. Dixie Martell's clock?

ANDREWS:

Oh, yes. You will pardon my bad memory, I hope. How are you?

PETER:

Oh, so-so.

ANDREWS:

Oh, that's too bad. And you, young lady?

HILDA:

Fine, Mr. Andrews. And you?

ANDREWS:

Oh ho, I can't complain. Are you waiting for Mr. Jackson?

PETER:

Who isn't? Uh, is that a clock you've got in that package?

ANDREWS:

Yes. Mr. Jackson wanted me to repair it. A great rush. I had to promise to have it here exactly at this time. And now-- Will he be here soon?

PETER:

Maybe. If we can reach him.

ANDREWS:

He hasn't gone away, has he?

PETER:

Well, after a fashion. But you can leave the clock.

ANDREWS:

Leave it?

PETER:

With me. I'll see that it gets into the right hands.

ANDREWS:

I am sorry. I cannot do that.

PETER:

Why not?

ANDREWS:

Mr. Jackson is very particular about his clocks.

PETER:

But you aren't.

ANDREWS:

What?

PETER:

The one you repaired for Dixie was a very bad job.

HILDA:

Why, Pete, that's right! It didn't go!

PETER:

Took you a long time to remember that, Hilda.

HILDA:

How 'bout you?

PETER:

Took me a long time, too. Uh, now, Mr. Andrews--

ANDREWS:

I am afraid I don't quite understand what you young people are talking about.

PETER:

Well, then, let me put it this way. That clock you've got wrapped up has got a drawer in it.

ANDREWS:

(UNCONVINCING) I did not notice.

PETER:

A drawer you put in it. That's the kind of repair work that you've been doing for Steve Jackson.

ANDREWS:

I--? Young man--

PETER:

Shall we check?

ANDREWS:

(SHARP) Leave this package alone.

PETER:

We're checking, Mr. Andrews.

ANDREWS:

(WITH EFFORT) I said, leave it alone!

PETER:

(IN PAIN) Ow!

HILDA:

Pete!

ANDREWS:

Oh, I am sorry. I did not mean to hurt you.

PETER:

Why, the old guy's got a grip like a pair of handcuffs!

ANDREWS:

I'll come back later when Mr. Jackson is--

PETER:

Just a minute.

ANDREWS:

Don't stop me, young fellow.

PETER:

You won't take me by surprise again. You never knew what was going into those clocks, did you?

ANDREWS:

I want you to get out of my way.

PETER:

But when Dixie Martell brought a clock to you -- not for repair, but for safekeeping -- you looked in the drawer. You saw the diamonds.

ANDREWS:

I am warning you, young man.

PETER:

You took them. That is, you thought you took all of them. Then you went to her apartment this morning and strangled her.

BIZ:

PETER AND ANDREWS GRUNT AND GASP WITH EFFORT DURING FOLLOWING SCUFFLE

ANDREWS:

(WITH EFFORT) I am not going to warn you again.

PETER:

(WITH EFFORT) It's no use, Mr. Andrews; I can wrestle, too. You - strangled her.

ANDREWS:

No--

PETER:

Just to make sure you could keep the diamonds. That wasn't nice, Mr. Andrews. That was -- murder.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

PARK BACKGROUND ... BIRDS WARBLE, ET CETERA

PETER:

Oh, a hot dog, a bottle of pop -- and thou.

HILDA:

I just can't get over it, Pete. Mr. Andrews.

PETER:

Mm hm. He did it. The police found the diamonds in the back of his store.

HILDA:

Greed, greed, greed.

PETER:

Once is too much, Hilda.

HILDA:

What people won't do for money.

PETER:

If they wouldn't do it, it'd be all right, but the trouble is, they do.

HILDA:

Hmm?

PETER:

You can't beat it, honey. Ask Mr. Andrews.

HILDA:

(AGREES) Mmmm.

PETER:

And when you get through asking him, you can ask Steve and Mona.

HILDA:

You think they'll get twenty years?

PETER:

Maybe thirty. But if I were the judge--

HILDA:

Some day, darling.

PETER:

Hm, yes. Come on, let's get some peanuts.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS DURING FOLLOWING--

HILDA:

Pete, what made you suspect Mr. Andrews?

PETER:

I was alive.

HILDA:

What?

PETER:

And I wouldn't have been if Steve were a killer.

HILDA:

Oh. You mean--?

PETER:

That's right. I knew too much about his business. But he didn't kill me. So, when Andrews came in--

HILDA:

Make it simple, dear.

PETER:

I took a chance, that's all, and it worked. Well, where can I get peanuts around here?

HILDA:

Are you going to eat them?

PETER:

Why not? Squirrels do. Are we any better? We're not even as smart.

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH

LIBRARIAN:

And so closes tonight's story, "No Time for Murder."

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS UNDER FOLLOWING

LIBRARIAN:

Stedman Coles wrote the radio script; Roger Bower produced and directed; Myron McCormick played Peter Woods; Charlotte Lawrence was Hilda Ryan; Raymond Edward Johnson was Steve Jackson; Cameron Prud'homme played Karl Andrews; and Jean Ellen was Dixie Martell. Oh, I beg your pardon.

SOUND:

PICKS UP PHONE

LIBRARIAN:

(INTO PHONE) Hello, I hope I haven't kept you waiting. ... Yes, this is the Crime Club. ... I'm the Librarian. ... Yes, come over a week from tonight. ... Good. We have a very unusual story of a trip that was arranged by Death. It's called "Cowhide."

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG

LIBRARIAN:

(INTO PHONE) In the meantime? Well, in the meantime, there's a new Crime Club book available this week, and every week, at bookstores everywhere. ... Yes, it's available now. ... Fine. And we'll look for you next week?

MUSIC:

UP TO FILL A LONG PAUSE ... THEN IN BG, TILL END

ANNOUNCER:

This program came from New York. This is the Mutual Broadcasting System.