Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Mercury Theatre
Show: Jane Eyre
Date: Jun 28 1946

CAST:
ANNOUNCER, Ken Roberts
JANE EYRE
ROCHESTER / ORSON WELLES
MRS. FAIRFAX
BERTHA
MASON
PRIEST (1 line)
INNKEEPER
and a CROWD at the wedding

ORSON WELLES:

Good evening, this is Orson Welles, your producer of a special series of broadcasts presented by the makers of Pabst Blue Ribbon -- The Mercury Summer Theatre of the Air.

MUSIC:

MERCURY THEME (first movement of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto no. 1) ... OUT BEHIND--

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight, and every Friday night, Pabst Blue Ribbon presents you with a front row seat at one of the greatest plays ever produced. So while Orson Welles entertains you, pour yourself a tall, frosted glass of Pabst Blue Ribbon and enjoy at the same time great theater and this truly great beer.

ORSON WELLES:

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, we bring you a tale of dark secrets and of a dark and secret love. An English classic. A standard work, too, in our Mercury repertory -- with a special score composed and conducted by that pillar of the Mercury, Mr. Bernard Herrmann; with your obedient servant as the strange master of Thornfield Hall, and Miss Alice Frost in the title role -- of "Jane Eyre."

MUSIC:

WISTFUL INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG, OUT BY [X]

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) My name is Jane Eyre. I have no father or mother, brothers or sisters. When I was ten years old, my aunt sent me off to Lowood School. It was not so much a school as an institution for the children of the poor. Soon after I was eighteen, I placed an advertisement in the Yorkshire Herald, applying for the position of governess. The following week a reply came from a Mrs. Fairfax of Thornfield Hall in Yorkshire. [X]

MRS. FAIRFAX:

If J.E., who advertised last Thursday, is qualified to teach the usual branches of a good English education, a situation can be offered her where there is but one pupil, a little girl, nine years of age.

MUSIC:

FILLS A BRIEF PAUSE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [Y]

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) Three days later, I left Lowood School and that evening, I was at Thornfield Hall.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS ... JANE'S FOOTSTEPS IN ... DOOR SHUTS [Y]

MRS. FAIRFAX:

How do you do, my dear? Oh, I'm afraid you've had a tedious ride.

JANE EYRE:

No, indeed, ma'am. Shall I have the pleasure of seeing Miss Fairfax to-night?

MRS. FAIRFAX:

I am Mrs. Fairfax. Oh, you mean your pupil, Adele. She is not my daughter. The child is Mr. Rochester's ward.

JANE EYRE:

And who is he?

MRS. FAIRFAX:

The owner of Thornfield Hall. I'm merely the housekeeper. Your pupil is his ward. He wrote me to find a governess for her.

JANE EYRE:

He's not here himself?

MRS. FAIRFAX:

Almost never. Much of the time he's abroad.

JANE EYRE:

It does seem strange for a gentleman to own this great house yet never stop here to enjoy it.

MRS. FAIRFAX:

You will find, Miss Eyre, that Mr. Rochester is, in many ways, a strange gentleman.

MUSIC:

AN OMINOUS ACCENT ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) I slept smooth and soundly that night in my new home. Once, I woke, and heard a clock strike.

SOUND:

CLOCK STRIKES TWO, OFF

BERTHA:

(DISTANT, ECHOING MANIACAL LAUGHTER ... THEN CONTINUES IN BG)

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) I heard another sound.

MUSIC:

UNEASY, IN BG

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) It seemed to me that, somewhere in the house, I heard a low, mirthless laugh.

BERTHA:

(MANIACAL LAUGHTER, UP BRIEFLY, THEN FADING OUT WITH--)

MUSIC:

FADES OUT

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) Then, for many weeks, nothing happened to break the smooth course of our lives at Thornfield Hall.

One day in January, I put on my coat and went out for a walk. The afternoon was already dimming. On the hill-top above me sat the rising moon, pale as a cloud.

MUSIC:

A GALLOP, IN BG ... BUILDS TO A CLIMAX, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) Suddenly, in the distance, I heard the sound of hooves. A horseman came over the hill, down toward the little bridge.

SOUND:

HORSE'S HOOVES APPROACH AT A GALLOP DOWN A HILL ... IN BG

ROCHESTER:

(YELLS AT HORSE, OVER ABOVE SOUNDS) Easy! Easy, there!

MUSIC:

OUT SHARPLY WITH--

SOUND:

HORSE'S HOOVES ABRUPTLY OUT, ROCHESTER FALLS OFF ... THEN, IN BG, BARKING DOG ... NERVOUS HORSE SHUFFLES AND SNUFFLES

ROCHESTER:

(CURSING) Oh, the devil!

JANE EYRE:

(ALARMED) Are you injured, sir?

ROCHESTER:

(BRUSQUE, TO JANE) Stand on one side!

JANE EYRE:

(SYMPATHETIC) Ohh.

ROCHESTER:

(TO DOG) Down, Pilot, down!

SOUND:

HORSE AND DOG GROW QUIET ... ROCHESTER STUMBLES

ROCHESTER:

(IN PAIN, BUT MOSTLY ANNOYED) Oh, my leg!

SOUND:

ROCHESTER LIMPS AROUND, BEHIND--

ROCHESTER:

You-- Uh, where do you come from, you young girl? You're no servant in the hall.

JANE EYRE:

I am the governess to Mr. Rochester's ward.

ROCHESTER:

Oh, you're the governess. (TO HIMSELF) Deuce take it, if I hadn't forgotten the governess. (TO JANE) Well, necessity compels me to make you useful. Come close, let me lean on your shoulder.

JANE EYRE:

All right.

ROCHESTER:

(WITH EFFORT) Hold the bridle. Here we are!

SOUND:

ROCHESTER CLIMBS ON HORSE ... HORSE SNUFFLES AND SHUFFLES A LITTLE, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

ROCHESTER:

Now just hand me my whip, which lies there under the hedge.

JANE EYRE:

(WITH SLIGHT EFFORT) Here, sir.

ROCHESTER:

Thank you!

SOUND:

HORSE GALLOPS OFF

ROCHESTER:

(MOVING OFF) Goodbye, child!

MUSIC:

BRIEF BRIDGE

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) As I walked back to Thornfield, I kept seeing his tall figure enveloped in a riding cloak, fur collared and steel clasped, remembering his stern face, his angry, thwarted eyes.

MUSIC:

SOMBER ACCENT ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) It was late when I got back to the hall.

SOUND:

DOG BARKS BRIEFLY

JANE EYRE:

(APPROACHES, SURPRISED) Mrs. Fairfax? What dog is that?

MRS. FAIRFAX:

He came with the master.

JANE EYRE:

With whom?

MRS. FAIRFAX:

With the master, Mr. Rochester. He had an accident. His horse fell coming down Hay Lane. He said you were to go to him the minute you came in.

JANE EYRE:

Oh.

MRS. FAIRFAX:

You'd better hurry.

SOUND:

JANE'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR ... SHE KNOCKS

ROCHESTER:

(FROM BEHIND DOOR) Come in!

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS ... JANE'S FOOTSTEPS IN ... DOOR SHUTS BEHIND--

ROCHESTER:

Well. Well, sit down, Miss Eyre. (BEAT) You've been resident in my house three months?

JANE EYRE:

Yes, sir.

ROCHESTER:

You come from--?

JANE EYRE:

From Lowood School, sir.

ROCHESTER:

Hmm, a charitable concern. How long were you there?

JANE EYRE:

Eight years.

ROCHESTER:

Eight years! You must be tenacious of life. No wonder you have rather the look of another world. I marvelled where you got that sort of face. I'd half a mind just now in Hay Lane to demand whether you'd bewitched my horse. (CHUCKLES) Indeed, I'm not sure yet. Who are your parents?

JANE EYRE:

I have none.

ROCHESTER:

Never had, I suppose. Don't draw that chair further off, Miss Eyre! Sit down exactly where I placed it -- if you please. Otherwise, I cannot see you without disturbing my comfortable position, which I have no mind to do. (BEAT) You examine me, Miss Eyre. Do you think me handsome?

JANE EYRE:

No, sir.

ROCHESTER:

(AMUSED) Hm! What faults do you find with me, pray? Does my forehead not please you? Does it look as if I were a fool? (NO ANSWER) Why don't you answer me? You look very much puzzled, Miss Eyre. You're not pretty any more than I am handsome; and a puzzled air becomes you, so - puzzle on. I leave the choice of subjects entirely to you. (NO RESPONSE) You're dumb, Miss Eyre, or stubborn. Yes, stubborn and a little annoyed. Confess it -- you're afraid of me.

JANE EYRE:

I am bewildered.

ROCHESTER:

You're afraid.

JANE EYRE:

I have no wish to talk nonsense.

ROCHESTER:

If you did talk nonsense, it would be in such a grave, quiet manner, I should mistake it for sense. (CHUCKLES) Do you never laugh, Miss Eyre? Don't trouble to answer.

JANE EYRE:

It's past nine, sir. I must say good-night.

ROCHESTER:

(GRACIOUS, LIGHTLY) Good-night. (MORE SERIOUS) Good-night, Miss Eyre.

MUSIC:

THOUGHTFUL BRIDGE ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) I could not sleep for thinking of Mr. Rochester.

BERTHA:

(DISTANT, ECHOING MANIACAL LAUGHTER)

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) I lay there, listening.

MUSIC:

EERIE ... THEN IN BG

SOUND:

SCRAPE OF BERTHA'S FINGERNAILS AGAINST DOOR ... BEHIND--

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) Then it seemed my door was touched; as if fingers were groping their way along the panels in the dark gallery outside. (SHOUTS, SCARED) Who's there?! Who is it?!

BERTHA:

(BLOODCURDLING SCREECHING! VERY CLOSE!)

SOUND:

BERTHA SCURRIES AWAY DOWN HALL ... JANE'S FOOTSTEPS IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) There was a strong smell of burning! Mr. Rochester's door was ajar and smoke rushed from his room. The curtains were on fire! (SHOUTS) Wake! Wake, Mr. Rochester! Wake!

ROCHESTER:

(WAKES) Eh--? Huh?

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) He lay stupefied in his sleep. I rushed to the basin and pitcher.

MUSIC:

OUT WITH--

SOUND:

SMASH! AND SPLASH! OF BASIN AND PITCHER, FILLED WITH WATER, HURLED AGAINST FLAMES

ROCHESTER:

(FULLY CONSCIOUS) Oh! What is it?! Is there a flood?!

JANE EYRE:

No, sir, but there's been a fire.

ROCHESTER:

(AMUSED DISBELIEF) In the name of all the elves in Christendom, is that Jane Eyre? What have you done with me, witch, sorceress? (COUGHS, REALIZES) This smoke--? (WORRIED) Who was in this room besides you? Look at me, Jane. Did you--? Did you happen to hear, during the night, an odd laugh?

JANE EYRE:

Yes, sir. I thought perhaps one of the servants--

ROCHESTER:

(RELIEVED) Just so; one of the servants. You've guessed it. Jane, you're no talking fool; say nothing about it. (SURPRISED) What? Are you quitting me already, and in that way?

JANE EYRE:

You said I might go, sir.

ROCHESTER:

But not without taking leave. Not in that brief, dry fashion. Why, you've saved my life. At least -- shake hands. (BEAT, WARMLY) You saved my life, Jane. I knew you'd do me some good in some way, some time.

MUSIC:

BRIEF WISTFUL BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) Then Mr. Rochester left Thornfield Hall. And when he returned, it was with a large company of very elegant guests. There was one lady in particular to whom my master seemed especially attentive. [X]

MRS. FAIRFAX:

The Honourable Blanche Ingram. Lord Ingram's sister she is. She's held the most beautiful girl in the county.

JANE EYRE:

And this beautiful and accomplished young lady is - not yet married?

MRS. FAIRFAX:

It appears not. What is the matter with you, child? You've eaten nothing. What is it, Jane? What's happened to you?

MUSIC:

BRIEF SOMBER BRIDGE ... THEN SOLO PIANO IN BG

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) That evening, word came that Mr. Rochester wished to introduce my pupil Adele to the ladies in the drawing room after dinner. I rose and curtsied to them. One or two bent their heads in return; the others only stared at me. As soon as I could, I left quietly through the side door.

MUSIC:

CHANGES TO WISTFUL ... IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ROCHESTER:

How do you do?

JANE EYRE:

(SURPRISED) I'm - very well, sir.

ROCHESTER:

Why did you not come over and speak to me in the drawing-room, Jane?

JANE EYRE:

I did not wish to disturb you.

ROCHESTER:

What have you been doing while I was away?

JANE EYRE:

Teaching Adele, as usual.

ROCHESTER:

Hm. Getting a good deal paler than you were. [X]

SOUND:

DOORBELL RINGS

ROCHESTER:

(SHARPLY) Now, who in the devil is that at this time of night?

JANE EYRE:

Shall I go and see, sir?

ROCHESTER:

Yes, Jane, I must return to my guests; I fear Miss Ingram will have marked my absence.

SOUND:

MRS. FAIRFAX'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

MRS. FAIRFAX:

Mr. Rochester?

ROCHESTER:

Yes?

MRS. FAIRFAX:

There's a man to see you, sir. He went into the drawing-room.

ROCHESTER:

The devil he did! Have you his name?

MRS. FAIRFAX:

Mason, sir; and he's come from the West Indies.

ROCHESTER:

(STRUCK) Mason?

MRS. FAIRFAX:

From Jamaica, I think.

ROCHESTER:

I'll see him presently.

MRS. FAIRFAX:

(MOVING OFF) Yes, Mr. Rochester.

SOUND:

MRS. FAIRFAX'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY

ROCHESTER:

(WHISPERS, TO HIMSELF) Mason! West Indies!

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN ... SOMBER ... CONTINUES IN BG

ROCHESTER:

(TO JANE) Is that what she said?

JANE EYRE:

Do you feel ill, sir?

ROCHESTER:

(WEAKLY) Oh, Jane-- Jane-- I've got a blow; I've got a blow. Jane-- (POINTED) If all the people in that drawing-room came in a body and spat at me, what would you do, Jane?

JANE EYRE:

I'd turn them out of the room, sir, if I could.

ROCHESTER:

But if I were to go in to them, and they dropped off and left me one by one, what then? Would you go with them?

JANE EYRE:

I rather think not, sir. I should have more pleasure in staying with you.

ROCHESTER:

To comfort me?

JANE EYRE:

Yes, sir, to comfort you, as well as I could.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A SOMBER ACCENT ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) Much later that night, I wakened suddenly.

SOUND:

KNOCK AT JANE'S DOOR

ROCHESTER:

(OFF, URGENT) Jane?! Jane?!

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS ... ROCHESTER'S FOOTSTEPS IN

ROCHESTER:

Get up! Get up! I need you!

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN ... UNEASY, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING, IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ROCHESTER:

Have you a sponge in your room?

JANE EYRE:

Yes, sir.

ROCHESTER:

You won't turn sick, Jane, at the sight of blood? Here, give me your hand; let me see. (BEAT, IMPRESSED) Warm and steady. You'll do, Jane. Come along.

SOUND:

THEIR HURRIED FOOTSTEPS ... INTO HALL AND UP STAIRS

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) I followed Mr. Rochester to the floor above. We entered a large room and, beyond that, there was an open door. And from inside came a low sound--

BERTHA:

(GROWLS AND HISSES LIKE A MAD DOG, OFF ... OUT BEHIND--)

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) --almost like a dog growling. In a chair was the form of a man, huddled and still.

MASON:

(GROANS IN PAIN)

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) I saw that it was the stranger, Mason -- the gentleman who had called earlier. His sleeve and his shirt on one side were soaked with blood. [X]

MASON:

(TERRIFIED) She's done for me!

ROCHESTER:

Quiet, Mason.

MASON:

Done for me!

ROCHESTER:

Nonsense; you've lost a little blood; that's all. (TO JANE) Now, then, Jane, hold this basin.

MASON:

Ohhh, she went at me with her teeth!

ROCHESTER:

Will you be silent?

MASON:

She sucked the blood; she said she'd drain my heart!

ROCHESTER:

I warned you, Mason!

MASON:

I thought I could have done her some good.

ROCHESTER:

You thought! you thought! Mason, get up. You must be out of the house before morning.

MASON:

(HEARTFELT PLEA) Let her be taken care of; let her be treated as tenderly as may be. Let--

ROCHESTER:

I do my best, Mason! And have done my best, and will do it! Never fear. (BEAT, QUIETLY) Yet -- would to God there was an end to all this.

MUSIC:

TO AN END, OF PART THE FIRST

ORSON WELLES:

You're listening, ladies and gentlemen, to the Mercury Theatre's radio production of the great English classic "Jane Eyre." And now, before we go on with Part the Second, here is Ken Roberts, alert and ready to speak a few lines, about--

ANNOUNCER:

--about another masterpiece, another classic -- blended, splendid Pabst Blue Ribbon. Yes, friends, the work of art Mr. Welles is bringing you tonight is a blend of many talents -- just as Pabst Blue Ribbon is the blend of never less than thirty-three fine brews, each merging its individual goodness with the other, to give you that splendid flavor -- not too light, not too heavy -- but fresh, clean, sparkling, with the real beer taste coming through the way you like it.

No doubt your dealer is occasionally unable to supply you with all the Pabst Blue Ribbon you'd like these days. But, please, keep on asking -- for every single bottle you do get will live up to the same high standards of quality and taste. Yes, every bottle will be, as always -- blended, splendid Pabst Blue Ribbon.

And now, Orson Welles continues with "Jane Eyre."

MUSIC:

MELANCHOLY INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) Mr. Rochester stayed on at Thornfield Hall. The talk continued about his coming marriage to Miss Ingram -- yet never had he called me more frequently to his presence; never had he been kinder to me. And, alas! never had I loved him so well.

MUSIC:

FILLS A CONTEMPLATIVE PAUSE ... THEN IN BG, OUT GENTLY AT [X]

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) It was a midsummer eve. I went down into the orchard.

SOUND:

NIGHTINGALE WARBLES

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) I heard a nightingale singing in the woods far away.

ROCHESTER:

(OFF) Jane? (CLOSER, MISCHIEVOUS) Good evening, Jane. Thornfield is a pleasant place in summer, is it not?

JANE EYRE:

Yes, sir.

ROCHESTER:

Yes. You'd be sorry to leave?

JANE EYRE:

Oh, yes.

ROCHESTER:

Pity. It's always the way in this life. No sooner have you got settled in a pleasant resting-place, than a voice calls to you to rise and move on.

JANE EYRE:

(WORRIED) Must I move on, sir? Must I leave Thornfield?

ROCHESTER:

I believe you must, Jane. I'm sorry, Jane, but - I believe indeed you must.

JANE EYRE:

(BEAT, RESIGNED) You're going to be married, sir?

ROCHESTER:

(AMUSED, LIGHTLY) Look at me, Jane. You're not turning your head to look after more nightingales, are you? (BEAT) Adele must go to school; and you, Miss Eyre, will get a new station.

JANE EYRE:

Yes, sir. I will advertise immediately.

ROCHESTER:

I've heard of a place that I think will suit -- a place in Connaught, Ireland.

JANE EYRE:

(UNHAPPY) That's a long way off, sir.

ROCHESTER:

A long way off from what, Jane?

JANE EYRE:

Oh, from England; from Thornfield, and--

ROCHESTER:

(BEAT) Well?

JANE EYRE:

From you, sir.

ROCHESTER:

Oh, it is; it is, to be sure, it is. A long way off.

JANE EYRE:

(WEEPS) [X]

ROCHESTER:

(COMFORTING) We've been good friends, Jane; have we not? Come, we'll sit here in peace to-night, though we should never more sit here together.

MUSIC:

IN BG, OUT GENTLY AT [Y]

ROCHESTER:

You know, sometimes I have a queer feeling with regard to you, Jane -- especially when you're near to me, as now. It's as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated on the corresponding corner of your little frame. And if that boisterous Channel comes broad between us, I'm afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, you'd forget me. Oh, Jane, I think you'd better stay.

JANE EYRE:

Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think, because I'm poor, obscure, plain, and little, that I'm soulless and heartless?! I have as much soul as you -- and full as much heart!

ROCHESTER:

Jane, be still. (CHUCKLES) I offer you my hand, my heart, and a share of all my possessions.

JANE EYRE:

Don't mock me.

ROCHESTER:

I ask you to pass through life at my side -- to be my wife. It's you only I intend to marry. Come, Jane -- come here.

JANE EYRE:

Your bride stands between us.

ROCHESTER:

My bride is here. You strange, you almost unearthly thing -- I love you as my own flesh. Come to me, Jane -- come to me entirely now. [Y] (FERVENT, LIKE A PRAYER) God pardon me -- and men meddle not with me. I have her, and will hold her.

MUSIC:

TRIUMPHANT AND ROMANTIC BRIDGE ... THEN WEDDING BELLS, OUT BEHIND--

PRIEST:

For ye be well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God's Word allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful. Edward Rochester, wilt thou have this woman for thy wedded wife?

MASON:

(INTERRUPTS, OFF) This marriage cannot go on! I declare the existence of an impediment!

BIZ:

CROWD MURMURS IN REACTION ... OUT WITH--

ROCHESTER:

(QUICKLY, TO PRIEST) Proceed with the service.

MASON:

(COMING CLOSER) Mr. Rochester has a wedded wife now living at Thornfield Hall! I saw her there last April! I am her brother!

BIZ:

CROWD MURMURS IN REACTION ... OUT WITH--

ROCHESTER:

(TO THE CROWD) What this man here says is true. Bigamy is an ugly word, yet that is what I meant to be -- a bigamist.

BIZ:

CROWD MURMURS IN REACTION ... OUT WITH--

ROCHESTER:

(TO THE CROWD) I daresay you've heard gossip about the mysterious lunatic kept under watch and ward. I now inform you that she is my wife, Bertha Mason, whom I married fifteen years ago in Spanish Town, Jamaica. Bertha Mason is insane! You may see for yourself, if you wish, what sort of being I was cheated into marrying, and judge whether or not I had a right to break the compact, and seek happiness with this girl I love.

(SHARPLY) Well, I failed! (BITTERLY, TO A COACHMAN) Take the coach back to Thornfield! It'll not be wanted to-day. (ANGRY, TO CROWD) To the right-about, every one of you! Away with your congratulations! Who wants them?! (IN DESPAIR) They're fifteen years too late!

MUSIC:

BIG ACCENT ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) Next morning at dawn, I made my possessions into a parcel and stole from my room. For the last time, I passed Mr. Rochester's door and started down the dark stairs.

SOUND:

JANE'S FOOTSTEPS DOWN STAIRS

ROCHESTER:

(OFF) Jane?

MUSIC:

MELANCHOLY ... IN BG OUT AT [X]

ROCHESTER:

(CLOSER) Jane? You mean to go one way in the world, and let me go another?

JANE EYRE:

I do.

ROCHESTER:

You will not stay, Jane? You will not be my comforter, my rescuer? My deep love, my - my tragic grief -- they're nothing to you?

JANE EYRE:

God bless you, my dear master. God keep you from harm and wrong. [X]

SOUND:

JANE'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS AWAY

ROCHESTER:

Jane? (NO ANSWER) Jane?

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR CLOSES, OFF

ROCHESTER:

(IN DESPAIR) Jane!

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [Y]

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) A year and a half went by. I wrote to Mrs. Fairfax and begged for news. Three months wore away. Day after day, the post arrived and brought nothing for me. I packed my things and took the stagecoach for the North. [Y] Thirty-six hours later, I was at Millcote.

INNKEEPER:

Come a long way, today, ma'am. We don't get many travellers here these days.

JANE EYRE:

I thought perhaps you could tell me-- Is Mr. Rochester living at Thornfield Hall now?

INNKEEPER:

Why, say, ma'am, don't you know? Thornfield Hall was burnt down.

JANE EYRE:

(GASP OF DISMAY)

INNKEEPER:

Not a stone standing. The fire broke out in the dead of night--

JANE EYRE:

The dead of night! Was it known how it started?

INNKEEPER:

They guessed, ma'am; they guessed. There was a woman -- would you believe it? -- a lunatic.

JANE EYRE:

But Mr. Rochester? Was he at home when the fire broke out?

INNKEEPER:

Yes, indeed he were. He went up to the tower to get his mad wife out of her cell. She was on the roof. We heard him call her name. We saw him approach her. And then, ma'am, she yelled and gave a spring, and the next minute she lay smashed on the pavement.

JANE EYRE:

Dead?

INNKEEPER:

Yes. Dead as the stones on which her brain and blood were scattered.

JANE EYRE:

(DISMAYED) Oh. (HOPEFUL) But is - is he alive?

INNKEEPER:

Yes. Yes, Mr. Rochester is alive; but many think he'd better be dead.

JANE EYRE:

Why? Where is he? Is he in England?

INNKEEPER:

Aye, aye, he's in England. He can't get out of England. I fancy he's a fixture now. He's stone-blind. Yes, he's stone-blind, is Mr. Rochester.

MUSIC:

VERY SAD ... THEN IN BG, OUT GENTLY AT [X]

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) I found him in a small manor-house nearby. A neglected handful of fire burned low in the grate. And leaning over it, with his head supported against the high, old-fashioned mantel-piece, stood Mr. Rochester. [X]

SOUND:

DOG BARKS, THEN OUT BEHIND--

ROCHESTER:

Is that you, Mrs. Fairfax? (TO DOG) Down, Pilot. What's the matter? Down. (PUZZLED) It is you, Mrs. Fairfax, is it not?

JANE EYRE:

(OFF) Mrs. Fairfax is in the kitchen.

ROCHESTER:

(STUNNED) Who is this?! (NO ANSWER) Answer me. (NO RESPONSE) Speak again!

JANE EYRE:

(CLOSER) Your dog knows me. John and Mrs. Fairfax--

ROCHESTER:

(TO HIMSELF) Her very fingers.

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN ... IN BG

ROCHESTER:

(TO HIMSELF) Her small, slight fingers. If so, there must be more of her. Is it Jane? This is her shape, this is her size--

JANE EYRE:

(FERVENT) And this her voice. And her heart, too.

ROCHESTER:

(RELIEVED, LOVINGLY) Jane Eyre-- Jane Eyre--

MUSIC:

BRIEF BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT GENTLY AT [X]

JANE EYRE:

(NARRATES) I've now been married ten years. I know what it is to live entirely for, and with, what I love best on earth. Edward Rochester continued blind the first two years of our marriage. Then, one morning, as I was writing a letter for him to his dictation, he came and bent over me. [X]

ROCHESTER:

Jane--? Jane, have you a glittering ornament around your neck?

JANE EYRE:

(PUZZLED) Yes.

ROCHESTER:

And, Jane, are you wearing a - a pale blue dress?

JANE EYRE:

(PLEASED) Yes! (PAUSE, NARRATES, LOVINGLY) Later, when our first-born was put into his arms, he could see that the boy had inherited his own eyes, as they once were -- laughing, brilliant, and black.

MUSIC: ENTERS DURING ABOVE ... THEN UP, TO A FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

Orson Welles will be back in just a few seconds to tell you about next week's production of the Mercury Summer Theatre, but first--

The makers of Pabst Blue Ribbon wish to remind you that, though you may not be able to get Pabst Blue Ribbon every time you want it in these days of grain restrictions, it is well worth your while to keep asking -- for every bottle you do get will continue to live up to its name.

And speaking of grain restrictions, not a single grain of wheat is being used in the brewing of beer and ale. And the grains that are being used by breweries are not the grains wanted for famine relief.

Now, let me repeat. When you do get Pabst Blue Ribbon, you can be sure this truly great beer will be, as always, the happy blending of never less than thirty-three fine brews. As always -- blended, splendid Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Now Mr. Welles.

ORSON WELLES:

Next week, ladies and gentlemen, we bring you one of the most fascinating stories that it's ever been the privilege of the Mercury Theatre to broadcast. One of the very tallest of all the tall stories ever told. It's a yarn of high adventure on the high seas. It's called "A Passenger to Bali."

Till then, till next week, then, at this same time, same station, speaking for my sponsors, the makers of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, and for everybody in the Mercury Theatre, I remain, as always, obediently yours.

MUSIC:

THEME ... THEN IN BG, TILL END

ANNOUNCER:

This program came to you through the courtesy of the Pabst Brewing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, makers of blended, splendid Pabst Blue Ribbon.

This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.