Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Inner Sanctum Mysteries
Show: The Vengeful Corpse
Date: Sep 12 1949

MFX:

SPOOKY ORGAN TO STING

NET ANNCR:

Bromo-Seltzer invites you through the creaking door for another Inner Sanctum Mystery! And remind you to%u2026

SFX:

BROMO-SELTZER TRAIN 'FIGHT HEADACHES 3 WAYS', THEN TRAIN CHUGGING OUT OF STATION TO ORGAN STING.

SFX:

DOOR OPEN WITH LONG CREAKING

RAYMOND:

Good evening, friends! This is your host to welcome you through the creaking door into the Inner Sanctum.

MFX:

ORGAN STING

RAYMOND:

Come in, come in, won't you? (pause) I'd like you to meet some new guests we've just (slight pause) dug up! Now that peculiar cadaver
standing off in the corner by himself has a serious case of claustrophobia. Poor stiff! He just can't stand SHROUDS! (pause) (chuckles deviously) Now this fellow to your right was a mountain climber in life. He took his wife on an alpine hike, and while they were going up an icy slope, he cut the rope that held them together. Said he just couldn't stand to be TIED to one woman. (pause) And now, meet our most forgettable character, Wild-Eyed Willie. One day, Willie's ugly wife bit him. So, in anger he buried her in the back yard. Six months later, his homely mate came up as a (slight pause) dogwood tree to haunt him. (chuckles) Now, according to Willie, her BARK is much worse than her BITE. (sinister laugh)

MFX:

ORGAN STING #2

RAYMOND:

Please friends, absolute silence! We want it SO quiet, you can hear a HEAD drop! (long pause) In a small hillside New England cemetery, a chill evening wind stirs the leafless trees with a complaining murmur.

SFX:

WIND IN BACKGROUND

RAYMOND:

A blood-red moon probes through the branches with grotesque fingers, touching the faded headstones with their eerie light. A frail, drawn-faced young woman sits on an old stone bench, listening acutely to the rustling of the branches, as if to capture some word whisper of the dead's forgotten past%u2026.

SFX:

WIND CONTINUES IN BACKGROUND

PAUL:

(off mic) (calling) Sarah? (pause) Sarah? (a little closer but still off mic) Sarah? Where are you?

SARAH:

Oh! Paul! I'm%u2026I'm here! Over here!

PAUL:

(coming up to mic) Sarah! I've been looking all over for you! What are you doing out here, anyway?

SARAH:

I (pause) I was called out here, Paul.

PAUL:

(in disbelief) What?

SARAH:

The wind. (pause) There was a voice on the wind, and it called me to come out here.

PAUL:

That's just in your mind, darling. No voice called you.

SARAH:

(insistent) YES, PAUL! IT DID! (pause) I recognized the voice.

PAUL:

(skeptical) You recognized it? Then who's voice was it?

SARAH:

(slowly) It was old%u2026.and tired%u2026.and sort of cracked. And yet, I could recognize it as my own voice.

MFX:

ORGAN STING

PAUL:

You heard your OWN voice?

SARAH:

Yes, Paul. And it was strongest right here where I'm sitting now. Among my family's graves.

Mr. GRIFFIN:

(way off mic) (calling) Hello, there!

SARAH:

(gasps in fear)

GRIFFIN:

(still off mic) Hello!

PAUL:

(calmly) It's just Mr. Griffin, the caretaker. (pause) I asked him to help me look for you.

GRIFFIN:

(coming up to mic) Oh, well! I see you found your wife all right, Mr. Seaton!

PAUL:

(happily) Yes, I found her all right, Mr. Griffin!

GRIFFIN:

(on mic) I thought I saw Mrs. Seaton come to the graveyard here earlier. I didn't expect she'd still be%u2026. (gasps) Boy!

PAUL:

(concerned) What's wrong?

GRIFFIN:

(sighs) Oh, (pause) It's%u2026

PAUL:

What's the matter, Mr. Griffin?

GRIFFIN:

It's just that I get a sort of funny kind of feeling every time I pass this grave here.

SARAH:

(frightened) What do you mean? What are you talking about?

GRIFFIN:

That grave----That one there! T-t-the one right next to you.

SARAH:

(demanding) WHY? What's the matter with it?

GRIFFIN:

Well, ain't ya noticed? There's only one name on the headstone. The first name, Hester.

SARAH:

That's strange. My family name is Randall. Wasn't this woman a Randall?

GRIFFIN:

Oh! You don't know the story?

PAUL:

Oh, what story are you talking about?

GRIFFIN:

Uh%u2026.. the kin who buried this Hester woman didn't think she deserved the family name, so they left it off the headstone.

SARAH:

(concerned) WHY? Why didn't they give Hester her fullname?

GRIFFIN:

Cuz they didn't want anybody to know who she was, I guess. Ya see, Hester was burned at the stake for witchcraft.

MFX:

ORGAN STING

SARAH:

Witchcraft?

GRIFFIN:

Yup, that's what they say!

PAUL:

Uh, Mister Griffin, my wife is an ill woman as it is%u2026..

SARAH:

(interrupting) Let him go on, Paul!

PAUL:

Oh, but Sarah!%u2026

SARAH:

(interrupting) What ELSE, Mister Griffin?

GRIFFIN:

Wellll, that's all, Mrs. Seaton, 'cept Hester claimed at the stake that they were burning an innocent woman. She could be heard shouting it as the flames licked around her. She threatened with her last breath to get even some day.

SARAH:

HOW could she get even?

GRIFFIN:

I dunno, but 'cording to the story I heard, Hester said that this here town OWED her the years of her life that they took away.

PAUL:

(not buying it) Well, now this is completely ridiculous! It's only a legend!

SARAH:

Mister Griffin, tell me, how many years ago did all this happen?

GRIFFIN:

Well, it's%u2026it's right here on the headstone, you see? (reading) HESTER, a lost soul, born October 13, 1759. (pause) Died (pause) (amazement) GOOD HEAVENS!

SARAH:

(fearful) What's wrong?

GRIFFIN:

Errr%u2026.look, Mrs. Seaton! The date of Hester's death (pause) (amazement) IT'S WORN AWAY!

MFX:

ORGAN STING TO BRIDGE

SFX:

WIND SOUNDS OUT

SFX:

CLOCK STRIKING (10) IN BACKGROUND

PAUL:

Sarah!

SARAH:

(off mic) Err%u2026.yes, Paul.

PAUL:

What are you doing out of bed? When did you get up?

SARAH:

(nervously) Why%u2026errr%u2026.just a minute ago. I%u2026I can't sleep. She keeps calling me. (beginning to cry) I hear her voice right here in this room! J-j-just a few minutes ago%u2026

PAUL:

What?

SARAH:

She was BEGGING me to help her! Telling me she never really lived, and pleading with me to bring her back to life.

PAUL:

Now, Sarah, you've got to%u2026.

SARAH:

(interrupting) I thought I saw her.

PAUL:

Now, Sarah, believe me, there%u2026.

SARAH:

(interrupting) She was dressed in a black dress, and there was a large 'W' on it. That's for witch. (pause) And in her hand she held a flaming torch.

PAUL:

I'm going to call the doctor!

SFX:

KNOCK ON DOOR

SARAH:

Someone's at the door.

PAUL:

All right, I'll see who it is.

SARAH:

(emphatically) NO, WAIT! Wait%u2026..(softly) I'll go.

SFX:

WOMAN'S FOOT STEPS

SFX:

DOOR OPENING

JUDGE FOSTER:

Ah, good evening, Mrs. Seaton.

SARAH:

(surprised) Why, Judge Foster!

FOSTER:

I hope I didn't awaken you folks. I saw a light in the window, so I%u2026

PAUL:

(interrupting) Oh, that's all right, Judge! Come right in.

FOSTER:

Ahh, thank you!

SFX:

DOOR CLOSING

FOSTER:

I'm sorry to bother you this time of the night, Mister Seaton, but I was looking out my window on the other side of the cemetery, and I thought I saw something%u2026.or someone prowling around out there. And I wondered if they came over this way?

SARAH:

(fearful) WHO WAS IT?

FOSTER:

Well, I don't know. Someone carrying a torch%u2026.

SARAH:

(interrupting and SCARED) A TORCH???

PAUL:

(calmly) Go on, Judge.

FOSTER:

Well, of course it could be that my eyes were playing tricks on me%u2014they're not so good. But as far as I could make out, it was a woman dressed in black.

SARAH:

PAUL!

PAUL:

You SAW this woman, Judge? YOU'RE SURE?

FOSTER:

Yeah. (pause) I'm PRETTY sure I saw her. 'Course, it's kinda dark out there, but it looked to me like there was something on the front of her dress.

PAUL:

(growing fearful) Wha%u2026.what do you mean?

FOSTER:

Well, there was the letter "W". A big, white letter 'W' on it.

SARAH:

(whispering fearfully) Hester! It was Hester (more loudly) just as I%u2026.

PAUL:

No! (pause) No, Sarah!

FOSTER:

(confused) Hester? Who's Hester?

SARAH:

Hester Randall. (getting agitated) That's who you saw! SHE WAS IN THIS HOUSE!

PAUL:

NO! It MUST be a trick! You see, someone is trying to frighten you, to make you worse!

FOSTER:

NOW, NOW! Hold on, folks! Hester Randall was buried over one hundred years ago!

SARAH:

(insistent) SHE'S COME BACK TO LIFE!

FOSTER:

Mrs. Seaton, I%u2026.

PAUL:

(Interrupting) Now, Judge, (pause) my %u2026.my wife is ill. She doesn't realize what she's saying%u2026

SARAH:

(interrupting) I KNOW HESTER'S ALIVE! You didn't believe me, Paul, but Judge Foster saw her, too!

FOSTER:

Well, I didn't see anyone who's been dead a hundred y%u2026..(stops short)

PAUL:

What is it, Judge?

FOSTER:

(pause before speaking) (then sniffs) Don't you smell it?

PAUL:

(sniffs) YES!

FOSTER:

Something burning!

PAUL:

It's the odor of burning flesh! (pause) (excited) LOOK! OUT THERE ON THE BACK LAWN! STUCK IN THE EARTH! A TORCH! A FLAMING TORCH!

MFX:

ORGAN STAB

SFX:

WIND AGAIN IN BACKGROUND

SFX:

SOUNDS OF DIGGING IN DIRT WITH A SHOVEL under following

PAUL:

(fatigued) Sarah, I tell you it's useless to have me dig up this grave!

SARAH:

I've GOT to know, Paul. It's the only way I'll be sure.

FOSTER:

Careful, Mister Seaton! You're just about deep enough for the coffin now. If it's still there.

PAUL:

Judge, I don't know how you can sanction a thing like this!

FOSTER:

Well, Mister Seaton, you see, I want to be sure, too!

PAUL:

But it's REDICULOUS!

SFX:

SHOVEL HITTING WOOD (digging sounds stop)

FOSTER:

Ah! You've struck wood with the shovel! (pause) Yes, it's the coffin all right. You'd better go easy now! That wood is soft with age and half rotted away.

SFX:

SCRAPING SOUNDS WITH SHOVEL (on wood)

PAUL:

(fatigued) OK (pause) I think we can open it now.

FOSTER:

Wait, I'll give you a hand with the lid. (grunts as he says 'lid')

SFX:

WOODEN COFFIN LID BEING MOVED

SARAH:

There's something inside it!

PAUL:

(slowly) A body%u2026%u2026%u2026%u2026..charred.

FOSTER:

It's a body all right. Only, it ISN'T a woman's! You can still make out the face. (gasps) IT'S GRIFFIN! THE CARETAKER!

SFX:

WIND OUT
MFX: ORGAN HORROR SEGUE

PAUL:

Doctor Norton, I am SO glad you've gotten here!

DR. NORTON:

I came as soon as I could, Mister Seaton. What's wrong?

PAUL:

(sighs) She's worse, doctor.

NORTON:

Oh?

PAUL:

MUCH worse. She's been in her room all day. Hiding like a frightened child. I%u2026I think the reading made it worse.

NORTON:

Reading? WHAT reading?

PAUL:

(exasperated) Well, for the past few days, she's been reading books about her family history.

NORTON:

Why did you let her have them?

PAUL:

Well, because at first, they seemed to quiet her. Since the night we found Mister Griffin's body in that grave she's wanted to know more and more about Hester Randall.

SFX:

DOOR OPENING

SARAH:

(off mic and calling) Paul..

PAUL:

Oh, Sarah, (pause) Doctor Norton's here, dear.

SARAH:

(on mic and frightened) You've GOT to warn him, Paul! Before it's too late!

NORTON:

Warn whom, Mrs. Seaton?

SARAH:

JUDGE FOSTER! He's in danger! Hester will kill HIM next!

NORTON:

(confused) What?

SARAH:

It's in the records of the court! The magistrate who sentenced Hester to death in this state was a man named Foster!

NORTON:

(consoling) Now, now Mrs. Seaton. You're just upset!

SARAH:

PLEASE! Believe me! Judge Foster is a direct descendant of that magistrate!

PAUL:

Sarah, Sarah! (pause) Hester's dead, dear. The dead can do no harm!

SARAH:

(nearly hysterical) PAUL! PAUL! (beginning to cry) You don't understand! She's killed one man already, and now she's going to kill another! She SWORE she'd get that revenge! On the magistrate, and on the man who was her accuser.

NORTON:

Mrs. Seaton, ALL this took place over a hundred years ago.

SARAH:

Then, what about Mister Griffin?

PAUL:

Well, what do you mean, Sarah?

SARAH:

(emphatically) He had the same name, too! According to the record, Hester's accuser was a man named (short pause) RICHARD GRIFFIN!

MFX:

ORGAN STING

PAUL:

Judge Foster, my wife insisted that I come over here and warn you about (pause) Hester.

FOSTER:

Well, thank you, Mister Seaton for troubling, but I'm not a bit worried about the similarity of names.

PAUL:

(hesitant) Well (long pause) I didn't admit it to Sarah, but the coincidence with Griffin WAS strange.

FOSTER:

(a bit careless) Oh, the dead never frighten me, Mister Seaton. But thank you for coming over. (pause) Oh! By the way, can I drive you home?

PAUL:

No, thanks. Doctor Norton is waiting for me outside. (off mic) Good night!

SFX:

DOOR OPEN

FOSTER:

Good night, Mister Seaton.

SFX:

DOOR CLOSE

FOSTER:

(sighs) Now, WHERE did I put those glasses of mine? (pause) I'm SURE I left them here on the table.

SFX:

DOOR OPENING

FOSTER:

Say! Who opened that door? (pause) Is that you come back, Mister Seaton? (pause) (then annoyed) Well CONFOUND IT! WHOEVER IT IS, ANSWER ME! WHO'S OUT THERE?

HESTER:

(way off mic) (demonic witch's laugh) It's me you prosperous just Duke!

FOSTER:

(amazed and fearful) WHAT?

SFX:

DOOR CLOSE

FOSTER:

Wh%u2026%u2026.who are you?

HESTER:

(coming up to mic) Your conscience has been dimmed by the evil of your acts. (pause) WHO AM I? Mark you well this torch I light! (long pause) Now mark you also my garb. This black garment I wear and upon which YOU have impressed the wicked 'W'!

FOSTER:

(gasps) HESTER!

HESTER:

AYE! SATAN'S MAGISTRATE, HESTER RANDALL!

MFX:

ORGAN INTERLUDE

RAYMOND:

That Hester character! Ya know, that's the way a dame gets when she's (brief pause) BURNED UP! Makes a specter of herself. Ya know, I kinda feel sorry for old Judge Foster. When Hester showed up, the poor guy didn't know WITCH way to turn! They shoulda believed Sarah Seaton! She sure had Hester dead----err-----rather ALIVE to rights! Yes, indeed! It's a wise descendant who knows her own forbearers. Particularly, the GRAVE-minded ones. (chuckles) Well now, let's get back to our flaming fable. And see what's cooking%u2026

SARAH:

PAUL! Paul! Wake up!

PAUL:

(coming out of sleep) Hmmmmm??

SARAH:

(frantic) Oh, PLEASE, wake up!

PAUL:

(now awake) Oh, Sarah! (pause) What's the matter, darling?

SARAH:

(on verge of tears) I've just had a TERRIBLE dream! I'm afraid!

PAUL:

(consoling) Now, easy dear.

SARAH:

I dreamt that Judge Foster was killed tonight! (pause) BY HESTER! You DID warn Judge Foster, didn't you, Paul?

PAUL:

Yes! Yes of course, Sarah. Where are you going, dear?

SARAH:

(frightened) I'm getting dressed. I'm going down to tell the Judge myself!

PAUL:

(insistent) YOU'RE STAYING HERE!

SARAH:

PAUL, PLEASE! LET ME GO! IT MEANS A MAN'S LIFE!

PAUL:

You heard what Doctor Norton said. Under NO circumstances are you to leave the house. You're to talk to no one.

SARAH:

(crying) WHY am I being kept here like a prisoner? WHY DON'T YOU LET ME SPEAK TO%u2026..

SFX:

DOOR BANGING OPEN

SARAH:

(gasps) W%u2026w%u2026what was that?

PAUL:

Sounded like a door banging in the wind.

SFX:

REPEAT DOOR BANGING OPEN

PAUL:

Yes, there it was again.

SARAH:

Didn't you lock that back door?

PAUL:

Uh-huh. I'm SURE I did. I'd better see what happened.

SARAH:

(fearful) WAIT! I'M GOING WITH YOU!

SFX:

REPEAT DOOR BANGING OPEN

SARAH:

I%u2026I'd better turn on a light here in the kitchen.

PAUL:

(assured) No, you won't have to. I can see. It's the door all right. I guess I must have forgotten to spring the latch%u2026

SARAH:

(terrified) PAUL!

PAUL:

Sarah, what's the matter?

SARAH:

(more calm) Out there! By the trees at the end of the lawn! I thought I saw a figure!

PAUL:

All right, just stay here, dear. I'll be right back.

SFX:

DOOR OPEN (pause) THEN CLOSE

PAUL:

(long pause before speaking) There's no one out here, Sarah.

SARAH:

(off mic) You're sure?

PAUL:

Positive! Probably just a shadow.

SARAH:

(still off mic and terrified) PAUL! THERE IS SOMEONE RIGHT HERE! (screams)

MFX:

ORGAN STING

PAUL:

SARAH! SARAH! WHAT HAPPENED? (pause) Sarah? W%u2026where are you? (shouting) SARAH!

MFX:

ORGAN QUICK INTERLUDE

PAUL:

She was standing here, sheriff. RIGHT HERE at the back door, when I heard her scream!

SHERIFF:

And there wasn't a sign of her when you got back here to the door?

PAUL:

(emphatic) Not a SIGN of her!

SHERIFF:

Well, folks don't just vanish into thin air, Mister Seaton. She must be around here SOMEPLACE!

PAUL:

(panicked) I've GOT to find her before it's too late!

SHERIFF:

Too late? What do you mean by that?

PAUL:

I%u2026I%u2026I don't know, really%u2026. I have a feeling that%u2026

SHERIFF:

(interrupting) Oh, now you're not gonna tell me about dead witches returning too, are you? Don't tell me YOU believe in that stuff!

PAUL:

I don't know WHAT to believe!

NORTON:

(off mic) Sheriff! Is that you, sheriff?

SHERIFF:

Yes! Who's there?

NORTON:

(still off mic) Doctor Norton. (pause) (ON mic) You'd better come with me, sheriff. I%u2026ahh%u2026just discovered something on the side of the road, about a mile away. (pause) Mister Seaton, I (pause) I think you'd better wait here.

PAUL:

(panicked) WHAT IS IT, DOCTOR NORTON? WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND?

NORTON:

(cautiously) I'd (pause) rather you wait as I said before, until we're sure.

PAUL:

(angry and fearful) WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO HIDE FROM ME?

SHERIFF:

I guess you'd better speak up, doctor if it's something that concerns Mister Seaton, maybe he should know.

NORTON:

(resigned) All right, sheriff. (pause) When I made the turn into the road, my headlights caught it in a ditch. I wasn't sure at first, so I stopped the car and got out. (pause) It was a body in the ditch. (pause) A CHARRED body!

MFX:

ORGAN STING

SFX:

CAR COMING TO STOP WITH SLIGHT BRAKE SQUEAL and OPENING OF TWO CAR DOORS

NORTON:

This way, sheriff. (pause) Over here to the right.

PAUL:

W%u2026.Where is she?

SHERIFF:

Easy now, Mister Seaton.

NORTON:

(regretfully) Right here, sheriff.

SHERIFF:

Wait until I switch on the flashlight. (pause) There.

PAUL:

(trembling) Is%u2026.is it Sarah?

SHERIFF:

Just a moment, Mister Seaton. (pause) Doctor Norton has made a mistake.

PAUL:

WHAT?

SHERIFF:

This corpse isn't your wife. I can tell by that ring. (slowly) It's the ring that Judge Foster always wore.

MFX:

ORGAN BRIDGE

SFX:

TELEPHONE RINGS ONCE then OFF HOOK

PAUL:

(answering phone) Hello? (pause) Oh, yes, sheriff. (pause) Any news yet? (pause) Well, why CAN'T your men find her? It's been six hours already! (pause) NO, I haven't heard a word. (pause) Yes. PLEASE call me as soon as you hear anything, will ya? (pause) OK, thanks

SFX:

PHONE ON HOOK

SFX:

KNOCK ON DOOR

PAUL:

(fearful) Who's there?

SFX:

MORE EMPHATIC KNOCK ON DOOR

PAUL:

(annoyed) WHO IS IT?

SARAH:

(off mic and terrified) PAUL! OPEN THE DOOR!

PAUL:

SARAH!!!

SARAH:

(still off mic) Yes, yes! Quick! Let me in!

SFX:

DOOR OPENING

PAUL:

(overjoyed) Oh, SARAH! SARAH! Thank the Lord you're all right!

SARAH:

(on mic &sobbing) Oh, Paul!

PAUL:

Darling, where have you been? What happened to you?

SARAH:

(still panicked) Wait! Lock the door, QUICKLY!

SFX:

DOOR CLOSING

SARAH:

(near whisper) She doesn't know I've come back! She's still looking for me.

PAUL:

Who?

SARAH:

(louder) HESTER! She was out there, Paul! That's why I ran from the house! She called to me from the road. Made me go with her.

PAUL:

Huh? go where?

SARAH:

To the cemetery. She kept me there. Torturing me! Begging me to change places with her.

PAUL:

Darling, you're not making sense!

SARAH:

Please, please, please believe me! (emphatic) We've GOT to get away from here TONIGHT! RIGHT NOW! (terrified) She'll kill me if we don't! (pause) She wants MY life for the one she never lived!

PAUL:

NOW STOP IT! STOP! NOW GET AHOLD OF YOURSELF! (pause then much calmer) Because there's no such woman as Hester Randall.

SARAH:

BUT! (crying) I saw her! I talked to her!

PAUL:

The woman you saw is somebody else! Somebody LIVING! Who wants you to BELIEVE that she's Hester. She wants everybody to believe it!

SARAH:

B%u2026but why, Paul? WHY?

PAUL:

Because she's a cold-blooded murderess! She's killed two people already, and she's trying to drive you out of your mind completely.

SARAH:

But then WHO? WHO could it be?

PAUL:

I wasn't sure before. (pause) NOW, I'm almost POSITIVE! (pause) It's Doctor Norton!

SARAH:

(quietly) Doctor Norton.

PAUL:

Now you saw this Hester, Sarah. What was she like?

SARAH:

(thinking) Uhhh%u2026.like a ghost. (pause) Like a shadow in the light. Y..y%u2026you can see her face and yet, you can see through it. Beyond.

PAUL:

No. That was just an illusion created by the night, dear. And perhaps some other tricks of a clever, scheming woman. You'll see! I'll PROVE that Doctor Norton%u2026

SFX:

DOOR BANGING AGAIN

SARAH:

(gasps)

MFX:

ORGAN STING

PAUL:

It's the back door again. (pause) It's blown open again.

SARAH:

(terrified) LEAVE IT! WE'VE GOT TO GET OUT OF HERE!

PAUL:

(calmly) No, no. You stay here. I'm going to see who opened that door.

SARAH:

(sobbing) PLEASE HURRY! DON'T LEAVE ME ALONE FOR LONG!

SFX:

DOOR BANGING AGAIN

SARAH:

(off mic) (screaming) PAUL!

PAUL:

What is it, Sarah?

SARAH:

(still off mic) DON'T COME IN HERE! DON'T COME BACK! RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

PAUL:

(shouting) WHAT'S THE MATTER?

SARAH:

(still off mic) DON'T COME IN HERE! SHE'S HERE! HESTER!

PAUL:

(shouting) SARAH!

SARAH:

(still off mic) LOOK OUT! I'VE GOT THE GUN OUT OF THE DESK! I'M GOING TO KILL HER!

SFX:

THREE GUN SHOTS

PAUL:

(shouting) SARAH! SARAH! ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?

SARAH:

(still off mic, but calmly) I've killed her, Paul. (coming up to mic) She won't torture me any more. I've killed Hester. She came toward me and I fired.

PAUL:

Sarah, there's no one in this room, dear!

SARAH:

Over THERE! In the hall. She's there!

PAUL:

WHERE? (pause) I don't see%u2026..Good Lord! You've (pause) broken the mirror.

SARAH:

(in a haze) What?

PAUL:

You shot at yourself.

SARAH:

(disbelief) No! It can't be! (slowly) I can't be her! And yet, I saw her face!

HESTER:

(slowly) And it was MY face, too.

PAUL:

(disbelief) SARAH! It was YOU! You all the time!

HESTER:

I am Hester, fair gentleman. It is warming to have such a friend as you to stand beside me in this MOCKERY OF JUSTICE!

PAUL:

(pity) Oh, Sarah! Sarah!

SARAH:

RUN! Run as fast as you can, Paul! (getting very excited) I was WRONG! I haven't killed her! RUN!

PAUL:

Sarah, I've got to help you! I've got to explain to you that%u2026

HESTER:

(interrupting and ordering) Thou art not Sarah! (pause) Not any more! Can't you see who I am? Can't you see who has taken my place?

PAUL:

(desperately) SARAH! LISTEN TO ME! I LOVE YOU! PLEASE, PLEASE COME BACK TO ME!

HESTER:

SARAH'S GONE! NOW I CAN LIVE THE YEARS THEY TOOK FROM ME!

PAUL:

SARAH!

HESTER:

SEE IN MY HAND THIS PISTOL? WE WILL BID IT, I SAY! IT WILL COME WITH ME!

MFX:

ORGAN STING

SFX:

TELEPHONE RINGING IN EARPIECE (2 rings) then PHONE ON HOOK

NORTON:

Still no answer, sheriff?

SHERIFF:

(sighs) No answer, Doctor Norton. I can't understand it. Mister Seaton was home when I called just 15 minutes ago!

NORTON:

I warned you, sheriff to have that house closely watched!

SHERIFF:

Well, I can't do a hundred things at once! I've got every available deputy out looking for Mrs. Seaton!

NORTON:

Don't you realize she may have gone back to their house? Don't you realize that she's the one that might be Hester?

SHERIFF:

(incredulous) Mrs. Seaton HESTER? What the deuce are you talking about?

NORTON:

(very serious) I'm talking about dual personality. Mrs. Seaton is suffering from a nervous breakdown. And it's entirely possible that she's the one who killed Griffin AND Judge Foster!

SHERIFF:

(angry) Why, you should have told me this before, doctor! C'MON! We're getting right over to the Seaton house!

MFX:

ORGAN TRANSITION

SFX:

WIND IN BACKGROUND

HESTER:

Here, Paul. They buried Hester's body here. DISHONORED! AND UNNAMED! (pause) But Paul, you believe in my innocence.

PAUL:

Yes, Sarah. (pause) We'd better go back, dear.

HESTER:

BACK?

PAUL:

(calmly) Just to the house. It's very cold here.

HESTER:

It's cold EVERWHERE, Paul. I feel the chill of DEATH coming near me. (pause) You and I are going back. Back through TIME! To an age where no one can harm us! (pause) This torch I hold, it will free us FOREVER!

PAUL:

N%u2026n%u2026now wait! Sarah, PLEASE! LISTEN! Now TRY to understand, dear%u2026.

HESTER:

(interrupting) Ease your mind! The flames will be of no pain! I KNOW! (sinister) Because I've been through such a death before!
PAUL: NO! Now, Sarah, wait%u2026

SFX:

GUNSHOT

HESTER:

(groans) Ohhhhhhhh

SFX:

BODY FALLS TO GROUND

SARAH:

(very weakly) Oh, Paul! Hester's going!

PAUL:

(choking back tears) Oh, Sarah!

NORTON:

(off mic) Mister Seaton! (on mic) Are you all right?

PAUL:

Yes.

SHERIFF:

Looks like we got here just in time.

SARAH:

(stronger voice) PAUL! She's going from me! (whispers loudly) FOREVER! (pause) (groan of death)

PAUL:

(overcome with loss) OH, SARAH!

NORTON:

(long pause before speaking) She's dead, Mister Seaton.

SHERIFF:

(remorseful) I'm sorry, Mister Seaton.

PAUL:

(pause before speaking) Sheriff?

SHERIFF:

What is it? What's the matter?

PAUL:

Look. At the headstone. I didn't notice that before. It's been recut.

SHERIFF:

Well, what do you mean?

SFX:

WIND OUT

PAUL:

(quietly) Well, don't you see what it says? (reading) 'Hester Randall, a lost soul. Born October 13, 1759, died September 12, 1949.

MFX:

STING TO FINALE

RAYMOND:

Say! Have you had your personality split lately? Hmmmm? Ya see what happens when a dame gets her dates mixed up? Poor Hester! She didn't know whether she was coming or going%u2026.to the grave. Now if you should be in an old New England cemetery some night and one of the headstones should move, don't be frightened! It's probably just Hester coming up for a HOT date again! (chuckles) Oh! By the way, there's no parting moral attached to tonight's tale. I'll just leave you with your own thoughts. (pause) As HORRIBLE as I hope they are! (sinister laugh)

MFX:

ORGAN STING TO FINISH

SFX:

BROMO-SELTZER COMMERCIAL

RAYMOND:

Well! It's time to close that creaking door for another seven day rest until next week at this time, when BROMO-SELTZER brings you another Inner Sanctum Mystery! Until next Monday, then, (pause) GOOD NIGHT! PLEASANT DREAMS, HMMMMM?

SFX:

LONG CREAKING DOOR WITH SLAM AT END