Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: The Witch's Tale
Show: The Violin
Date: May 03 1934

The Violin – The Witch’s Tale – Episode 146 Original Airdate May 3 1934

Transcribed by Kevin Rimney December 2015

Old Nancy – The host, an old witch who tells stories
Satan – Her wise black cat.
Lady Nell – Promiscuous wife of Lord Gordon
Lord Gordon – Neglectful and stupid husband of Nell's
Kate – Serving girl to Lady Nell
Tarsoe – An Italian violinist and guest of Lord Gordon's
Guest 1-
Guest 2 -

Frederick – a descendant of Lord Gordon
Anne – a descendant of Lady Nell
Doctor Matthews – an old family friend of Fred and Anne
Palmer – assistant to Dr. Matthews
Cop -

SFX:

Wind followed by church bells tolling

Announcer:

The Witch?s Tale.

Music:

Theme plays

Announcer:

The fascination of the eerie, weird, blood chilling tales told by Old Nancy, the witch of Salem and Satan her wise black cat. They are waiting, waiting for you, now!

Music:

ends.

Old Nancy:

Hehehehe

Satan:

Meow

Old Nancy:

Hundred and eighty year old I be today, yes sir, hehehe, eh I mean a hundred and Eight year old. Satan!

Satan:

(low) meow?

Old Nancy:

Don't you ever raise your voice to me like that again. I know how old I be. Satan, give the word to douse all lights and I'll sin the yarn.

Satan:

Meow.

Old Nancy:

That's it, make it nice and dark Sitting in the gloom is the way to hear our perky tales. Now draw up to the fire and gaze into the embers. Gaze into them deep and soon you will see an noble castle in England as it was two hundred years ago. Soon in a room in that castle you'll see a perky woman with hard and selfish eyes, and you will hear the story of the Violin. Heheheh The Violin. hahahahah

Satan:

screeching meow

SFX:

silent transition
SFX: Knocking upon a door.


Nell:

Come in Signor Tarsoe.

SFX:

Door opening

Nell:

Oh, it is only you Kate.

Kate:

Yes my lady.

SFX:

Door closing

Nell:

I thought your knock was that of Tarsoe. Did you not deliver to him my message?

Kate:

Yes my lady. He will be here presently.

Nell:

He takes his time.

Kate:

He seemed reluctant to accept your invitation.

Nell:

Reluctant? What manor of man is this Italian player of the violin who strives always to avoid me? Kate, am I growing so old and ugly this man should shun my presence?

Kate:

You are very beautiful my lady. Me thinks Signor Tarsoe does not wish to be aloe with you that much because he fears that beauty.

Nell:

Perhaps you are right. Perhaps he is one of those gentlemen with strict scruples, who does not wish to forget that he is my husband's friend and guest.

Kate:

You have made other men forget such scruples my lady.

Nell:

(chuckle) Well why not when one is married to a fool who spends his days at the chase and his nights at the gaming tables. One must seek amusement. You know how often I find it.

Kate:

My lady is very clever, and my lord her husband very trusting.

Nell:

Stupid would be a better word but never has he introduced such a man like this Italian to our house before. Is he not handsome Kate?

Kate:

Signor Tarsoe is the very picture of good looks my lady.

Nell:

And handsome men are rare, almost as rare as men with scruples. If it is a sense of honour that makes the signor so aloof he must be taught for it denies him much.

Gordon:

(approaching voices) Hahaha,that's good Tarsoe.

Tarsoe:

It's fine, yes my lord.

Kate:

(hushed) He's coming

Nell:

(hushed) I heard and the idiot is bringing my husband with him.
Ah here we are Tarsoe. May we enter your nest my little bird?

Nell:

(hushed and disgusted) Bird. (bright and cheerful) Of course my lord, come in and welcome.

SFX:

door opening and closing

Gordon:

Greetings Nell, my sweet wife. Your serving wench said you had a wish to hear the music of friend Tarsoe. I have brought him to you violin and all.

Nell:

It was good of you to accompany him my lord. You are ever so busy with other interests I did not include you in my invitation.

Gordon:

I understand my dear but Tarsoe accused me of neglecting thee so I am here at his insistence.

Nell:

I see.

Gordon:

Come in friend Tarsoe, don't linger in the hall.

Tarsoe:

Thank you my lord Gordon.

Nell:

Greetings signor.

Tarsoe:

My respects to you my lady.

Nell:

I wish to hear the music of your violin. Will you play?

Tarsoe:

It would be a privilege and pleasure...

Gordon:

Mind you make your music lively Tarsoe, give us none of your wishy washy Southern love songs.

Nell:

On the contrary my lord, the romantic airs of signor's native land are what I wish to hear.

Gordon:

Ohhh, well I guess I'll have to listen then.

Nell:

Why? I'll not be offended if you return to your game. I fancy there is a game in progress below stairs.

Tarsoe:

Aye and for rousing stakes, it nearly broke my heart to leave.

Gordon:

If you really do not mind my dear.

Tarsoe:

Lord, you will not leave us.

Nell:

Of course he will.

Tarsoe:

But , but please...

Nell:

Signor Tarsoe you insisted my husband come hither with you because you think that he neglects me, that is not so. I like music, he likes cards. He likes many friends around him, I prefer one. Must one of us mould our nature to the other?

Gordon:

Truly said sweet Nell. We friend Tarsoe are one wedded pair who understand one another, each serenely trusting in the others love and virtue. Hahaha. An exceptional couple isn't that so my dear.

Nell:

You are always right my lord.

Gordon:

Hahaha and I am lucky to have such a wife. Well I leave you two now.

Tarsoe:

Wait I return to the tables with you.

Nell:

Signor?

Gordon:

Why?

Tarsoe:

It must be. It is not proper I remain with my lady while her husband is away.

Gordon:

Nonsense, nonsense. That's some of your foreign ideas my boy. You Italians may have reason to distrust and guard your women but not we Englishmen. Stay and regale her ears with sentimental music Tarsoe, I return to my game.

SFX:

Door opening and closing.

Nell:

Won't you be seated signor?

Tarsoe:

I thank you.

Nell:

Not so far away from me. Here is a softer chair.

Tarsoe:

I find this one very comfortable.

Nell:

Then I shall move, here I will recline on this couch by your side.

Tarsoe:

As my lady wish.

Nell:

You may go Kate and close the door.

Tarsoe:

No senora it is not right for you and me to be in here behind closed doors.

Nell:

You heard my husband's views. He has perfect trust in you and me. Go Kate

Kate:

Yes my lady.

SFX:

Door opens and closes.

Nell:

(relaxed) There. Are you so filled with scruples signor because you do not trust yourself?

Tarsoe:

I trust myself completely senora. You wish me to play for you?

Nell:

Yes. A love song.

Tarsoe:

Very well.

Nell:

You leave my side?

Tarsoe:

You will like the music better if it comes to you from a distance.

Nell:

Whence it comes from doesn't matter if you play your love song to me.

Tarsoe:

I play a love song for you.

SFX:

solo violin piece begins.

Nell:

You are very different from other men I have known signor.

Tarsoe:

I am a simple gentleman signora. If I lack the graces of other men of your acquaintance it is my misfortune.

Nell:

Yes your misfortune. Oh what a beautiful melody. Still it is not as beautiful as the emotion it sings of. Do you agree signor?

Tarsoe:

I agree love is the most wonderful of all the gods gifts to man.

Nell:

A man who brings such music from those strings must love the very name of love.

Tarsoe:

I love the beautiful in love.

Nell:

Can there be aught in love but beauty?

Tarsoe:

Yes there can be baseness and dishonour.

Nell:

Baseness and dishonour are but words to deny the foolish happiness. Are you foolish signor Tarsoe or are you merely cautious?

Tarsoe:

I don't understand.

Nell:

I mean if you loved a lady, a married lady let's say, would you not forget such childish things as scruples if you could enjoy her love in secret, secure from her husband's wrath.

SFX:

Violin ceases playing

Tarsoe:

No, I could not.

Nell:

You have ceased playing.

Tarsoe:

With your permission I will rejoin your husband and your friends.

Nell:

So soon?

Tarsoe:

If you permit please.

Nell:

Signor Tarsoe, am I unpleasing to your eyes?

Tarsoe:

You are very beautiful.

Nell:

Then what manner of man are you who forever shuns my company?

Tarsoe:

Senora, I beg your permission to leave.

Nell:

And I'll not give it to you.

Tarsoe:

Then I must go without it.

Nell:

You do not dare.

Tarsoe:

You force me to dare. Yes you force me now to say that which will mean we will never meet again. Your husband, my friend may be blind to your real nature but to me it has been plain since first we met.

Nell:

What do you mean?

Tarsoe:

That you are a bad woman.

Nell:

You dare?!

Tarsoe:

Do you not think I've sensed your practice of always trying to be alone with me? I am no conceited fool who thinks it is because you love me. You don't know the meaning of love. If I were not here you would seek some other man. I want not a cheap thing as you, I want not such a vile dishonour. That is all I have to say. That is all I have to say. I go senora.

Nell:

Oh no! You don't go until I show you how I repay such insults.

SFX:

Tearing of fabric.

Tarsoe:

Why do you tear your dress?

Nell:

To teach you the worth of that honour you just flung at my feet. Help, help! Gordon!

Tarsoe:

Why do you cry out for your husband?

Nell:

So you can tell him your story and I can tell him mine. (evil chuckle) Gordon, gentlemen, help!

Gordon:

What is it?

Tarsoe:

Why does my lady scream?

Gordon:

Nell, what is it?

Tarsoe:

What do you mean to do?

Nell:

You shall soon see. Help, help!

SFX:

Several men bursting into room.

Gordon:

Nell, what have we here?

Guest:

Her gown!

Gordon:

Tarsoe?

Nell:

Your friend attempted to dishonour me.

Tarsoe:

No, no.

Gordon:

Tarsoe?

Tarsoe:

I swear no.

Nell:

He seized me in his arms, see how he tore my dress?

Tarsoe:

She lies.

Gordon:

So that is how you repay my friendship.

Tarsoe:

Signor, I beg you hear me.

Gordon:

I hear not from you but a gasp of death.

SFX:

Sword from scabbard.

Tarsoe:

No, no! Sheath your sword.

Gordon:

I sheath it in your body!

Tarsoe: Ohhhhh (death goran)

Nell:

Your blade struck true, our honour is avenged my lord.

Tarsoe:

You have killed me, who I think was friend.

Gordon:

Aye, I killed you for the dog ye are.

Nell:

For your insult to an honest woman.

Tarsoe:

But breath enough remains to curse ye both. Oh dear god, wise as you are just, hear the grand prayer I send to you now. Though my body soon return to dust. Let my soul, my spirit still live on, to punish those who kill me.

Nell:

Silence him, pull forth your sword and plunge it in his chest again.

Guest:

Say! One cannot strike a dying man who prayers to god.

Tarsoe:

It would be a useless gesture, for a second thrust is not needed. So you fear my prayer, listen what it is. You wished I played for you a love song. Well I pray I will play a love song for you from beyond the grave, a song that will bring you to your death. To many deaths. For you will live again in the women of your wicked blood. And to them also I will play a song of love and death, and to them also...

Nell:

Stop him Gordon!

Guest:

Be still!

Tarsoe:

No! And for you lord Gordon, my friend only in name. I pray my music will bring your proud name to a dishonourable end. A dishonourable end such as you have brought to mine. That is my curse, my dying prayer. Dear god of justice. Answer.

SFX:

String pluck on violin

Group:

Gasp

Guest 1:

What was that?

Nell:

That violin.

Guest 2:

No one stands near it.

Guest 1:

It seemed a finger plucked it's string.

Nell:

Tarsoe, forgive, withdraw your prayer, your curse.

Gordon:

Tarsoe?

SFX:

moment of silence/pause

Nell:

He... is... dead.

SFX:

Wind blowing

Old Nancy:

Hehehehe And now Satan, two centuries later, our tale of the violin goes on. Hahahahaha

Satan:

(faint) meow


Frederick:

Good heavens in this supposedly enlightened year of 1939 you can't possibly believe in that whole Gordon curse.

Anne:

It's perfectly ridiculous doctor Matthews.

Dr. Matthews:

One cannot call something that has turned out consistently for two hundred years ridiculous.

Frederick:

Oh I admit there are some queer chapters in my families history but I don't believe anything supernatural there cause.

Anne:

If that old curse really plagues the Gordons, why is it only isolated members of the family? And why should Frederick and I be afraid of it?

Dr. Matthews:

Those portraits before you should answer.

Frederick:

You think Tarsoe's curse only strike those who bear a strong resemblance to Lady Nell and her husband.

Dr. Matthews:

That point has been well proven. Compare your grandmother's portrait with that of Lady Nell's portrait and that of her father with Lady Nell's husband. All four met violent and disgraceful deaths. As though in answer to the Italian's prayer. You and Anne are third cousins. She is the last of lady Nell's line and you are the last of Lord Gordon's. I'm certainly afraid for you both because you returned to this castle tonight as man and wife.

Frederick:

I see. Hated blood reunited and all that sort of thing.

Anne:

What a splendid reception you proved to be for people on their honeymoon. We didn't expect you to approve of our elopement but we never dreamed you'd try to frighten us with this wild bogey tale when we told you about it.

Dr. Matthews:

My dear children, I've been a second father to you. If you do not respect my fears then please humour them. Perhaps the thing I fear only exists in this castle. Leave it now, tonight. Don't try to live with in these walls where Tarsoe met his death.

Frederick:

Oh rot.

Anne:

Naturally we're going to live here.

Frederick:

It's our home and always has been. If any ghosts lurk about here then I've never seen them and neither has any body else. Oh forget it doctor. Let's go back to the drawing room and find ourselves a drink.

Anne:

Yes, come on.

Dr. Matthews:

No thank you. Since you won't listen to me, I'm going home. Goodnight.

SFX:

Door opening and closing.

Frederick:

Well he certainly made this a cheerful homecoming.

Anne:

Haha. We expected such stodgy old people as Dr. Matthews to hold up their hands in fear and horror when they learned about our marriage. Tradition is very dear to them, especially when it concerns the supernatural.

Frederick:

The Gordon curse. Bah, silly rot.

Anne:

You really are like that old painting of Gordon Fred.

Frederick:

And you might have posed for that portrait of lady Nell, the only difference is in the costume.

Anne:

I wonder if there is a thing as reincarnation?

Frederick:

If it is true then in our case we have a lot to make amends for. He was a stupid blighter and she was... well one doesn't mention her sort in mixed company.

Anne:

And we're the last of their blood reunited. - Frederick! Is that one of the servants at the end of the hall there?

Frederick:

I, I don't see...

Anne:

It's gone now. It must have been a shadow I saw moving there.

Frederick:

Darling, you're not beginning to imagine things because of Doctor Matthews warning are you?

Anne:

No of course not. Let's get out of here.

SFX:

Quiet violin music begins

Anne:

Wait. (pause) Frederick?

Frederick:

What is it?

Anne:

Listen.

SFX:

violin continues

Frederick:

To what? I don't hear anything.

Anne:

It seems I hear the music of a violin.

SFX:

violin continues and then ends.

Anne:

I know I heard it Frederick.

Frederick:

No no you imagined it.

Anne:

That's what I thought, there's no one...

Frederick:

Here that could be playing the instrument.

Anne:

You don't think I heard the violin of Tarsoe?

Frederick:

Tarsoe's been dead for two hundred years.

Anne:

Oh I know, I'm a fool. This is the twentieth century. (chuckles) I promise not to worry anymore about his ghostly violin.

Frederick:

(chuckles) Good girl, suppose we go back to the house now eh?

Anne:

Oh no it's pretty out here in the garden but would you fetch me a wrap?

Frederick:

Of course, and don't listen to any spooky music while I'm gone.

Anne:

(chuckles) I won't. Hurry back dear.

Frederick:

I will.

SFX:

Violin music begins constantly.

Anne:

|Frederick, Fredrick come back! I hear the music.

SFX:

Violin music ends.

Tarsoe:

The lady does not care for music?

Anne:

Who are you? Why do you play that violin?

Tarsoe:

I play a love song to you.

Anne:

A love song? To me?

Tarsoe:

It is my answer to all of your questions, all of your fears, all of your doubts. Do you not find my love song beautiful.

SFX:

Violin begins again.

Anne:

Very beautiful.

Tarsoe:

Still it is not as beautiful as the emotion that is sings of.

Anne:

Love is the most wonderful of god's gifts.

Tarsoe:

Then music will make you love the very name of love.

Anne:

I only love the beautiful in love.

Tarsoe:

Can there be anything in love but beauty?

Anne:

Love can be baseness and dishonour.

Tarsoe:

They are only words to deny the foolish happiness.

Anne:

I do not understand you.

Tarsoe:

If your heart was to love another man would you not forget such childish things as scruples and enjoy that love? In secret?

Anne:

What, what are you doing to me? You weave some spell over my brain.

Tarsoe:

I am playing to you a love song, Lady Nell.

Anne:

Lady, Nell?

Frederick; Anne! Oh Anne!

Anne:

Anne, that's my name, not Nell. But is it?

Tarsoe:

Lord Gordon your husband comes. Since you and I must love in secret I will leave you now.

Anne:

Lord Gordon?

Frederick:

Anne dear.

Tarsoe:

Remember, we must enjoy our love in secret. For that was your way. Farewell.

Frederick:

Anne? Oh why don't you answer me? Anne?

Anne:

Here I am.

Frederick:

Who were you talking to here?

Anne:

No one.

Frederick:

I thought I heard your voice and that of a man.

Anne:

There was no man here.

Frederick:

Anne, whats the matter with you? You seem dazed.

Anne:

I'm alright.

Frederick:

You don't look it.

SFX:

Violin music starts.

Anne:

Frederick!

Frederick:

What?

Anne:

Can't you heat it this time?

Frederick:

Hear what?

Anne:

The music of a love song, played on a violin.

SFX:

violin continues and fades into scene transition.

Dr. Matthews:

Your wife has a lover? In the lord's name what has happened to you the past few months?

Frederick:

Enough to convince even a blinder fool than I. It began the night after we returned from our honeymoon. The night after you tried to frighten me with an old wives tale of a curse. Hahaha. The only curse I'm afraid of is the one I married. Anne and I were sitting in the garden when she made a flimsy excuse to get rid of me. When I came back I heard voices, hers and that of a man. But when I reached her the man was gone and she denied anyone had been there. That was my first inclination. A dozen times since I've had similar experiences and now she sneaks away from the castle for several hours at a time. She sneaks away to see her lover.

Dr. Matthews:

I don't believe that boy. Anne's not the sort to...

Frederick:

She is! You once made me try to believe she was the reincarnation of Lady Nell. Hahaha! Maybe you're right, for Anne has the same vile nature.

Dr Matthews:

No matter what you suspect you cannot be sure.

Frederick:

I mean to be sure. Tonight when she leaves the house I mean to follow. Over these past three months I've lived in hell. I'll follow her tonight, and I find what I suspect I mean to kill.

Dr. Matthews:

Don't be a fool. Would you destroy yourself as well as her by wanton murder?

Frederick:

The law won't hang a man who is upholding the honour of his name. I will kill them both and go scott free!

Dr. Matthews: Remember the history of Lord Gordon, who killed for the honour of his name. Remember the mistake he made and the punishment that followed.

Frederick:

I'll make no mistake. Let me go!

Dr. Matthews:

Frederick!

Frederick:

Let me go I say let me go!

Dr. Matthews:

My boy.

Frederick:

I have a pistol in my pocket. Tonight I kill them both and go scott free!

Dr. Matthews:

Frederick! Palmer, Palmer!

Palmer:

Yes Doctor Matthews. What, what is wrong sir?

Dr. Matthews:

I want you to follow him at once. Don't let him out of your sight. And have the first constable you meet place him under arrest.

Palmer:

Under arrest?

Dr. Matthews:

Yes yes, oh for having a pistol in his possession illegally. I'll take the full responsibility. Hurry! I must find lady Anne and warn her.

Palmer:

Yes sir, very well sir.

SFX:

Door opening and closing.

Dr. Matthews:

God help them both. Nothing may save them now. One can not fight the dead man's curse.

SFX:

Violin music (continues till cue to end it)

Tarsoe:

You like the love song that I lay for you my lady?

Anne:

Your music has become the only thing I live for. Yet how unhappy it has made me.

Tarsoe:

Unhappy?

Anne:

Because I cannot here it except during the few moments I see you each night alone here in the garden.

Tarsoe:

Oh you have made me shamed.

Anne:

I love you with all my heart and soul yet you've never even kissed me.

Tarsoe:

Soon I shall kiss you.

Anne:

Why should I beg you for love? Three short months ago I adored the man I married.

Tarsoe:

You had not met me three months ago.

Anne:

Yet it seemed I knew you a long long time ago.

Tarose:

Does it seem so?

Anne:

Yes. Who, what are you, that has cast this spell upon me? There is something terrible, something unnatural about the way you rule my mind. Why don't you tell me who you are?

Tarsoe:

So we agree. I am a masquerader.

Anne:

Do you always wear that costume, always masquerading?

Tarsoe:

Soon the masquerade will end signora. Soon my violin will rest.

SFX:

Violin playing stops

Anne:

And soon you'll hold me in your arms. Hold me now. Give me just one single kiss to ease the ache that is in my heart.

Tarsoe:

Would you want that kiss in secret?

Anne:

It's our only way.

Tarsoe:

Now may arm is open for you, I will give you the kiss

Anne:

What if someone is spying?

Tarsoe:

You love me and you must follow me like I once followed honour.

Anne:

Yes I love you. Take me in your arms. Kiss me on the lips.

Tarsoe:

The first kiss and the last.

Anne:

(gasps) Your lips are as cold as death.

Tarsoe:

And my arms, strong as the grave.

Frederick:

(Mad laugh)

Anne:

Frederick!

Frederick:

I knew I'd find you with a man.

Anne:

Put down that gun.

Frederick:

Don't try to leave his arms you haven't time.

Anne:

He's going to shoot. Let me go!

Tarsoe:

The spirit has lived on to punish!

Anne:

I know you now, you're Tarsoe! (scream)

SFX:

two gunshots

Dr. Matthews:

Frederick, Frederick!

Frederick:

Come on doctor you have found me too late. I have killed them both! (Mad laughing)

Dr. Matthews:

God forgive you.

Palmer:

Grab his pistol Bill.

Frederick:

You can have it now. (Mad laughter) I knew you were after me those policemen doctor but you're too late. Arrest me if you will, a court will free me again. (Mad laughter) The law doesn't punish men who kill for honour. Look at my wife, her guilt is proven. There she lies with her lover as they fell.

Frederick you're mad only Anne is lying there.

Cop:

Where's this Anne you speak of?

Frederick:

Why, why he isn't there. I shot them both, they fell together.

Cop:

Only a woman lies dead upon the ground. You've got to show a jury you found her with her lover.

Frederick:

But I saw him! I shot him. My pistol almosst touched his body. It was impossible to miss, I saw him fall. I killed for my honour.

Cop:

If you can convince a court that that's your belief they may send you to a madhouse instead of the gallows. Come along.

Dr. Matthews:

The curse, the curse has reached it's end.

SFX:

Violin music starts in background

Frederick:

Dr. Matthews...

Dr. Matthews:

Yes Frederick.

Frederick:

I think I hear the music of a violin.

SFX:

Violin music continues a bit and ends.

Old Nancy:

Hehehehe

Satan:

(quiet)meow

SFX:

End theme music begins playing

Old Nancy:

And that was the end of the violin Satan and of the violinists curse. Hehehe When these folks come see us next week for me birthday we'll have another pretty little story to spin them. Hahahaheheheh

Satan:

Meow

SFX:

End theme continues and then ends.