Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: The Police Reporter
Show: Program #20 (Vitalis and Marie Boyer)
Date: Jan 29 1935

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
THE POLICE REPORTER
MARIE BOYER (pronounced boy-YAY), young and seemingly innocent
MOTHER (MADAME BOYER), old and unbelievably mean
LEON VITALIS (LEON rhymes with CRAYON; VITALIS with ALLEY), charming young man
MICHEL, the servile shop assistant
OFFICER, of the police; very stern

MUSIC:

THEME ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

The Police Reporter!

MUSIC:

FILLS A LONG PAUSE ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

ANNOUNCER:

The Police Reporter brings you another true murder mystery, this time from France. The year -- Eighteen Seventy-Four.

MUSIC:

THREE CHIMES ... FOR A TRANSITION

REPORTER:

On a lovely July day in the year Eighteen Seventy-Four, Marie Boyer came home from a convent to stay with her widowed mother. At the start of our story, she has been home for about half an hour.

MARIE:

You know, mother, most of my life's been spent in convents. Living in the outside world will seem so strange to me.

MOTHER:

You'll soon get used to it. Besides, I think you've wasted enough of your time cooped up in an institution.

MARIE:

But what will I do all day?

MOTHER:

Well, there'll soon be plenty for both of us to do. I'm going to buy two little shops, side by side -- a millinery store for you and a dairy shop for me.

MARIE:

We're going to keep store? To be merchants?

MOTHER:

We must work if we expect to live.

MARIE:

But, Mother, we know nothing about shop keeping.

MOTHER:

I have a young man who is going to help us. A young businessman.

MARIE:

Oh, you've already hired someone?

MOTHER:

Yes. Er, my arrangement with this young man will be slightly different from "employer and employee." I'm going to marry him!

MARIE:

(ASTONISHED) No, Mother!

MOTHER:

Why not?!

MARIE:

(RECOVERS) Well -- it's just a little unexpected, that's all.

MOTHER:

You better get used to the idea -- because in a very short time you'll have a stepfather. So if you've anything to say, say it now.

MARIE:

I'll probably know better what to say after I meet him.

MOTHER:

Well, he'll be here shortly.

MARIE:

You said a young man, Mother. How young?

MOTHER:

Twenty-six.

MARIE:

Do you think it wise to marry a man so much younger than yourself?

MOTHER:

What does it matter? We love each other. Besides, his sole experience is shop keeping.

MARIE:

Is he nice, Mother?

MOTHER:

I think so. But don't forget I'm the one who's marrying him, not you!

SFX:

KNOCK AT DOOR

LEON:

(OFF) Hello! May I come in?!

MOTHER:

Enter, Leon -- enter!

SFX:

DOOR OPENS ... THEN SHUTS BEHIND--

LEON:

And has our little bird finally been released from her cage?

MOTHER:

Yes, Leon. Here she is. This is my daughter, Marie. Marie, this is the young man I spoke of, Leon Vitalis.

LEON:

A lovely bird, if I may say so.

MOTHER:

You may not! If you have any compliments, I'll take them!

MARIE:

Mother has just told me of your coming marriage.

LEON:

Has she? And how will you like me for a stepfather? Do you think I'll do?

MARIE:

(CHARMED) Yes, I think so. Quite nicely, too.

LEON:

I'm glad. I've been a little nervous about meeting you.

MARIE:

Nervous? Why?

LEON:

Stepdaughters and stepfathers seldom constitute a mutual admiration society. And I wanted you very much to like me.

MARIE:

I do already. Now are you happy?

LEON:

Very!

MOTHER:

(ANNOYED) Leon, what is this? It isn't necessary for you to make love to Marie.

LEON:

But I want her to like me.

MOTHER:

She needn't! If I like you and want to marry you, that's sufficient!

MARIE:

(AMUSED) Mother, I believe you're jealous. (LAUGHS)

MOTHER:

What if I am?! It's nothing to laugh about! I didn't bring you from the convent to steal my husband from me.

MARIE:

Oh, come now, Mother. Aren't you going just a little too far?

MOTHER:

Well, I don't like it! I'm your mother, Marie. And your intended wife, Leon. I don't want either of you to forget it!

LEON:

You're making a mountain out of nothing. Marie and I are simply pleased because we like each other.

MOTHER:

Then see to it that this liking doesn't turn to love!

MUSIC:

THREE CHIMES ... FOR A TRANSITION

REPORTER:

In spite of Madame Boyer's warning, Leon and Marie did fall in love. We find them now as settled shopkeepers. It is late in the afternoon; Marie and Leon are in the living room, back of the millinery shop.

LEON:

Marie, why must I keep hidden what is in my heart?

MARIE:

Because it's wrong. You're still engaged to my mother.

LEON:

But I don't love her. It's you I love, and you I want!

MARIE:

Don't, Leon. Don't make me any more unhappy than I am.

LEON:

You do care for me, don't you, Marie?

MARIE:

Care for you? I love you, Leon -- love you more than I thought I was capable of loving any man.

LEON:

Then I'll tell your mother I can't marry her.

MARIE:

Don't, Leon. I'm afraid.

LEON:

Afraid? Afraid of what?

MARIE:

Of mother. She'll kill us when she finds out.

LEON:

Then we'll run off together without letting her know.

MARIE:

Oh, we can't do that, either. Where can we go? We have no money.

LEON:

Neither can we go on this way. Your mother will find out about us; and - and then what?

MARIE:

Yes. That would be even worse.

LEON:

We must do something. (PAUSE, GRIM) We must do the thing I've been thinking of for weeks.

MARIE:

What, Leon?

LEON:

Get rid of your mother. Permanently.

MARIE:

Oh, no, Leon, no.

LEON:

Why not? You've told me a hundred times that you hate her.

MARIE:

I do. But - but not that other thing. We might be caught.

LEON:

We won't be caught. I have it all planned. No one will even suspect.

MARIE:

I've often thought of doing it myself. But I've been held back by fear.

LEON:

Fear? Fear of what?

MARIE:

The sight of blood makes me ill and faint.

LEON:

There'll be no blood. I'll strangle her with my scarf.

MOTHER:

(OFF) Marie! Marie, come here!

MARIE:

She's calling me.

LEON:

Is it agreed then?

MARIE:

Yes. But when?

LEON:

At the very first opportunity.

MOTHER:

(OFF) Marie! Marie!

MARIE:

(CALLS, TO MOTHER) All right! (MOVING OFF) Yes, I'm coming, Mother.

SFX:

SIDE DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS

LEON:

(TO HIMSELF) Well, that's that.

SFX:

BACK DOOR OPENS

LEON:

(CLEARS THROAT) Oh, Michel? Are you in the shop?

MICHEL:

(OFF) Yes, Monsieur Leon.

LEON:

Come here.

MICHEL:

(CLOSER) Yes, Monsieur Leon. What is it?

LEON:

How would you like the evening off?

MICHEL:

Oh, very much.

LEON:

You may have it then. Madame Boyer is leaving for the south and I'm taking her.

MICHEL:

You're going with her?

LEON:

(MERRILY) She thinks I am. But I'm not. I'm going to fool her. I'm going to play a big joke on her.

MICHEL:

(AMUSED) No!

LEON:

Yes, but don't you tell her.

MICHEL:

I won't. On my honor, I won't. What are you going to do?

LEON:

Well --- I'm going to take her to the railway station and make every preparation to go with her. Then, about a half a minute before the train leaves, I'll make an excuse to get off. Then, before she realizes what has happened, she'll be on her way without me! (LAUGHS)

MICHEL:

(LAUGHS) Ho! Ho! That'll be good! (LAUGHS) What a joke on Madame!

LEON:

Can you picture her anger?! (LAUGHS)

MICHEL:

(LAUGHS) That would be worth seeing, sir; yes!

LEON:

Well, Michel, you can run along home now.

MICHEL:

Thank you, sir. I'd love to see Madame's face when you fail to come back to the train! (CHUCKLES, MOVING OFF) Good night, sir.

LEON:

Good night, Michel. I'll see you in the morning.

SFX:

SHOP DOOR SHUTS OFF

MUSIC:

THREE CHIMES ... FOR A TRANSITION

REPORTER:

Leon now closed up the two little stores and there was no one in either place but Madame Boyer, Marie and himself. The time is now about one hour later.

MARIE:

I'm sorry, Leon, but I couldn't get away from Mother any sooner.

LEON:

Well, I've sent Michel home with a good story, and now we have the whole night to carry out our plan.

MARIE:

You're going to do it tonight?

LEON:

Yes. The sooner it's done, the sooner our troubles will be over.

MARIE:

Oh, you're right, Leon, but it's an idea that one must get used to. And up to now, it's been just something vague -- something that was going to take place in the future. When you say the time is here, it frightens me a little.

LEON:

It'll all be over before you have time to realize anything has happened.

MARIE:

And then there'll be just the two of us.

LEON:

And we'll be alone with our love. Do you think you'll like that?

MARIE:

Oh, yes, Leon. I'm sure I'll be very happy.

LEON:

Are you nervous?

MARIE:

No. I'm calm and determined. I try to convince myself I'm doing an awful thing, but I can't. It seems right and natural that we should do it.

SFX:

SIDE DOOR BURSTS OPEN

MOTHER:

Oh! So you're together again! I might have known it!

MARIE:

What's the matter, Mother?

MOTHER:

Don't you think I know what's going on?! I've eyes -- even if I've been sick! I can see that you two are in love with each other!

LEON:

Well? What are you going to do about it?

MOTHER:

Throw you out! I want that power-of-attorney I've given you. You've spent all of my money that you're going to!

LEON:

We'll both go in the morning.

MOTHER:

Not both! Just you. Marie isn't of age and I forbid her to go.

MARIE:

Whether you forbid it or not, Leon and I refuse to be separated. I'm going with Leon.

MOTHER:

So he's turned your head, too, has he?

MARIE:

We love each other, if that's what you mean.

MOTHER:

What does he know of love?! That scheming, petty little thief!

LEON:

Madame!

MOTHER:

It's true! You came into my life and made me think you cared for me and wanted to marry me. You never cared. And the only reason you wanted to marry me was the one hundred thousand francs my husband left me.

LEON:

I'll not permit you to insult me, Madame!

MOTHER:

Then get out! I don't want you here!

LEON:

Come, Marie, we'll go!

MOTHER:

No! Marie stays here. She's not going with you.

MARIE:

I am, Mother. I'm going with Leon.

MOTHER:

No, you're not!

MARIE:

You let go of me! You can't keep me here!

MOTHER:

You're not going with Leon. Now go to your room.

MARIE:

I won't. I won't! Let go of me! Help me, Leon!

LEON:

Take your hands off her!

MOTHER:

Better my hands than your filthy paws! Keep out of this! You've done enough damage!

LEON:

I'm not going without Marie!

MOTHER:

She shan't go with you!

LEON:

We'll see about that!

MOTHER:

Let go of me. Let go! Take that filthy scarf from around my neck!

LEON:

Not until you're dead, you old--!

MARIE:

Watch it! She's got a vase!

MOTHER:

Take that, you beast!

SFX:

SMASH! OF VASE

LEON:

(YELLS IN PAIN)

MARIE:

Look out, Leon! She's reaching for the poker! Hold her! Hold her!

MOTHER:

He's not man enough to hold me!

LEON:

I can't hold her much longer! Give me that knife, Marie! Give it to me!

MOTHER:

Try to kill me, will you? Try to kill me--!

MARIE:

Here's the knife! Here!

LEON:

Pull it back! Pull her head back! Quickly!

MOTHER:

Let go of me! Both of you! Let go of me! (STRANGLED GASPS AS KNIFE IS PLUNGED INTO HER THROAT AND SHE DIES)

MUSIC:

THREE CHIMES ... FOR A TRANSITION

REPORTER:

The next morning, everything was in order when the shops opened. No trace of a struggle could be found. Michel was doing his work when Leon appeared.

LEON:

Good morning, Michel.

MICHEL:

(UNEASY) Oh, good morning, sir.

LEON:

Did you enjoy your evening off?

MICHEL:

Not very well, sir. Is - is Madame still here?

LEON:

I told you last night she was going to the south for her health.

MICHEL:

I - I know you did, sir. I - I went to the railway station to see you give her the slip, but, uh--

LEON:

(WARY) Oh, you did?

MICHEL:

Yes, sir, but I - I must have missed you.

LEON:

And is that why your evening was spoiled?

MICHEL:

Partly, yes, sir. (CHANGES SUBJECT) Is - is there anything you want me to do?

LEON:

You swept out, I suppose?

MICHEL:

Oh, yes, sir; hours ago.

LEON:

Well, here's a customer coming. I want to talk to you later, Michel.

SFX:

SHOP DOOR OPENS, BELL RATTLES A LITTLE

LEON:

Well, good morning, sir. Can I serve you?

OFFICER:

No. I came here to have a talk with you and the young woman.

LEON:

Oh, Mam'selle Marie?

OFFICER:

Yes. Where is she?

LEON:

In her rooms. What do you want with us?

OFFICER:

My business is private. It's nothing to be discussed in a store.

LEON:

We can go in the back living room. Michel, have Mam'selle Boyer join us in the back room.

MICHEL:

Yes, sir.

SFX:

BACK DOOR OPENS

LEON:

Right this way, sir.

OFFICER:

Thank you.

SFX:

BACK DOOR SHUTS

LEON:

Sit down, won't you? Mam'selle Boyer will be here directly.

OFFICER:

No, thank you. I'll stand.

LEON:

Can I offer you anything? A drink? Some coffee?

OFFICER:

No, thank you.

LEON:

Pleasant morning, isn't it?

OFFICER:

(UNCONVINCING) Yes.

SFX:

SIDE DOOR OPENS

MARIE:

You want me, Leon? Oh, I beg your pardon; I didn't know anyone was here.

SFX:

SIDE DOOR SHUTS

OFFICER:

Sit down, Mademoiselle. And you, too, Michel.

MICHEL:

Yes, sir.

LEON:

Do you mind telling us what the nature of this business of yours is?

OFFICER:

Not at all. Where is your mother, Mademoiselle?

LEON:

Madame Boyer has gone south for her health. She left last night.

OFFICER:

Really? And when do you expect her back?

MARIE:

Why, not for some time, I'm sure.

OFFICER:

Mademoiselle, I'm afraid it will be a long, long time before your mother comes back; that is, if she comes back at all.

LEON:

What are you talking about?

OFFICER:

Parts of Madame Boyer's body were picked up in a ditch on the outskirts of the city.

LEON:

What?!

OFFICER:

Don't act so surprised about it. Heh! You and this young woman put them there.

MARIE:

Who is this man? What's he talking about?

OFFICER:

I'm from the police and you know very well what I'm talking about.

LEON:

Oh, I assure you, I don't.

OFFICER:

Then you deny putting parts of Madame Boyer's body in a ditch and covering it with rubbish?

LEON:

Most emphatically.

OFFICER:

You, Michel -- tell them what you saw last night.

MICHEL:

Monsieur Leon told me he was going to give Madame the slip at the railway station. I - I wanted to see him so I watched. But when he didn't come, I - I came back here to see what had happened.

OFFICER:

And what did you see?

MICHEL:

I saw Monsieur Leon and Mam'selle Marie come out of the store pushing a cart. So I followed them.

OFFICER:

What was in the cart?

MICHEL:

Two large bundles. I followed them and saw them dump the bundles in a ditch. After they'd gone, I looked to see what was in them. (UNNERVED) Then I want to the police!

MARIE:

(TEARFUL) I told you we'd get caught, Leon!

LEON:

Oh, keep quiet.

MARIE:

You were so sure we wouldn't be discovered.

LEON:

We wouldn't have been if this cellar hadn't been blasted out of solid rock! We'd have been able to--!

OFFICER:

Come on, you two! You're under arrest for the murder of Madame Boyer!

MICHEL:

I'm awful sorry this happened, Monsieur. But you shouldn't have lied to me.

LEON:

No, Michel, I guess I shouldn't have. But then I thought I was clever and you very stupid. Nothing but my own cleverness betrayed me.

MUSIC:

THREE CHIMES ... FOR A TRANSITION

REPORTER:

On August seventeenth, Leon Vitalis was led to the guillotine for his part in this crime. A few days later, Marie Boyer went to prison. She was released in Eighteen Ninety-Two, a broken and repentant woman.

MUSIC:

THEME ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

And so ends another true story of a crime. The Police Reporter will be back with another of those fascinating true mysteries very soon. Listen to "The Police Reporter"! This is a Radio Release Production.

MUSIC:

THEME ... TILL END