Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Suspense
Show: Goodbye, Miss Lizzie Borden
Date: Oct 04 1955

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
EMMA, Lizzie Borden's flighty sister
EXPRESSMAN, from the railway
MAGGIE, the cook
NELLIE, smooth-talking newspaperwoman
LIZZIE, who took an axe
LITTLE GIRL
CBS ANNCR

MUSIC:

"SUSPENSE" THEME ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

And now tonight's presentation of Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills -- SUSPENSE.

Tonight, we bring you transcribed a story of what might have happened in the famous Lizzie Borden case. We call it, "Goodbye, Miss Lizzie Borden." So now, starring Paula Winslowe, Virginia Gregg and Irene Tedrow, here is tonight's SUSPENSE play, "Goodbye, Miss Lizzie Borden."

MUSIC:

UP, FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN OUT

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS, EMMA'S FOOTSTEPS IN

EMMA:

Oh, now, what did I do with my purse? Oh, there it is.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS TO PURSE

EMMA:

Oh, dear, oh, dear -- I know I've forgotten something. Something.

SOUND:

EXPRESSMAN'S FOOTSTEPS ENTER AS HE LUGS HEAVY TRUNK ACROSS FLOOR, BEHIND--

EXPRESSMAN:

(OFF) Is that everything, ma'am?

EMMA:

Huh? Oh. Oh, yes. Just the two suitcases. What are you doing with the trunk, expressman? There isn't any trunk; only the two bags. I'm only going for a short visit.

EXPRESSMAN:

(OFF) I was told that--

SOUND:

MAGGIE'S FOOTSTEPS ENTER, BEHIND--

MAGGIE:

It's my trunk, Miss Emma. I'm leaving.

EMMA:

(DISAPPOINTED) Oh, Maggie.

MAGGIE:

(CALLS) It's all right, expressman. You can take the trunk out.

EXPRESSMAN:

(OFF) Yes, ma'am.

SOUND:

EXPRESSMAN LUGS TRUNK OUT THE DOOR, BEHIND FOLLOWING--

EMMA:

Maggie, you can't--

MAGGIE:

I can't help it. I'm sorry. I really am. But I can't stand it another minute.

EMMA:

Oh, dear. They all leave. They always do. What are we going to--?

MAGGIE:

I'm sorry, Miss Emma. I've only stayed this long for your sake. I couldn't bear to leave you alone with - with her.

EMMA:

Thank you, Maggie.

MAGGIE:

Now you'll be gone off on your little vacation, and she'll have somebody else in the kitchen, maybe, before you come back.

EMMA:

Oh, dear, Maggie. What shall we do? What are we going to do?

MAGGIE:

I can't stand it, Miss Emma. I never feel alone in this house. I'm cleanin' about, thinkin' no evil, and - then I get a shiver between me shoulder blades, and I turn around, and there she is, perfectly still -- just lookin' at me -- with that look she's had since the trial. It's more'n a body can stand, and I'm leavin'.

EMMA:

(SYMPATHETIC) I know, Maggie. She's always spying. She knows every move I make. I know.

MAGGIE:

And never a party, no callers, not a friend to drop in of an evening. (BEAT) It's like a house of death.

EMMA:

(SOMBER) It is a house of death. I can't stand it any more than you can. That's why I'm going down to Fairhaven. I can't stand being cooped up with her any longer.

MAGGIE:

Then you know what I mean, Miss Emma.

EMMA:

Have you told her?

MAGGIE:

No. No. If you want to know the truth, I was afraid to say anything. Thought I might get my trunk away with your things before she knew.

EMMA:

Where is she?

MAGGIE:

Upstairs.

EMMA:

Well, you'd better hurry, then. Goodbye, Maggie.

MAGGIE:

Goodbye, miss. I'm sorry. And don't miss your train.

EMMA:

Oh, I won't. I have a half hour yet. And it isn't as if there wasn't another one soon after, you know.

MAGGIE:

Well, I know you, Miss Emma. Don't miss 'em both. (MOVING OFF) Goodbye.

SOUND:

MAGGIE'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR, BEHIND--

EMMA:

Goodbye, Maggie. (TO HERSELF) Oh, what am I going to do?

SOUND:

DOORBELL RINGS ... MAGGIE OPENS DOOR

NELLIE:

(OFF) Miss Lizzie?

MAGGIE:

(OFF, HARSH) Miss Borden is out!

SOUND:

MAGGIE PUSHES NELLIE BACK AND SLAMS THE DOOR SHUT ON BOTH OF THEM ... BEAT

EMMA:

(TO HERSELF, SLOWLY) Oh, dear, why can't they leave us in peace? Oh, now, what did I do with my gloves? Oh, I wonder what time it is?

SOUND:

DOORBELL RINGS

EMMA:

(CALLS) Maggie! (TO HERSELF) Oh. Oh, she's gone.

SOUND:

DOORBELL RINGS

EMMA:

(TO HERSELF) Oh, dear, Lizzie will be furious.

SOUND:

EMMA'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR AS DOORBELL RINGS AGAIN

EMMA:

(CALLS, EXASPERATED) Oh, who is it? Who is it?!

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

NELLIE:

Miss Borden?

EMMA:

(QUICKLY) Oh, no, no. No, you can't come in. My sister won't see you. Please, take your shoe out of the door. (STARTLED YELP AS--)

SOUND:

DOOR PUSHED WIDE OPEN AS NELLIE FORCES HER WAY IN

NELLIE:

(RUDE, COOL) So this is the scene of the crime.

EMMA:

Oh, please, please--

NELLIE:

Corpse found there.

EMMA:

My sister--

NELLIE:

Blood spattered all over the walls; had 'em repapered, haven't you?

EMMA:

(GIVES UP) Oh--

NELLIE:

Nice happy pattern, too. Ah, this is the picture, isn't it? The one that had forty-six blood spots on it. You're Miss Lizzie Borden, I presume?

EMMA:

Oh, no. No, I'm not--

NELLIE:

I must say you're not what I expected. Out West where I come from, when a woman's tough, she's tough. Now, Miss Lizzie, I'm here to--

EMMA:

(FIRM) I am not Miss Lizzie; I am Miss Emma.

NELLIE:

Oh! Oh, the sister. That accounts for it. Well, Miss Emma, this is the anniversary of the Second Street murders, isn't it? It's just a year since Mr. and Mrs. Borden were murdered by--

EMMA:

(INTERRUPTS) Since my father and stepmother died. We don't talk about it.

NELLIE:

I missed your sister's trial. Some old girl, I heard.

EMMA:

She was acquitted. We don't talk about it.

NELLIE:

No, of course not. But the public is interested, you know. Now I'm from Cripple Creek, Colorado, Miss Emma -- greatest town on earth, pick up gold right on the streets. I represent the Cripple Creek Record, and I'm here to get some impressions for my paper -- Second Street revisited, and all of that.

EMMA:

Oh, you're one of those nasty female reporters! Oh, Lizzie hates reporters. I know she won't listen to you for a minute.

NELLIE:

Oh, well-- (SMOOTHLY CHANGES SUBJECT) Hey, isn't that a picture of Pike's Peak on the wall?

EMMA:

Oh, yes. It - it's quite artistic, isn't it? Uncle Morse brought it back to me from the goldfields. It's all he brought back. He painted it himself.

NELLIE:

Now isn't that a coincidence? I'm from the Pike's Peak goldfields myself!

EMMA:

(PLEASANTLY SURPRISED) Oh.

NELLIE:

(MUSES) Morse, Morse. (FISHING) Is your Uncle Morse an old codger -- sixtyish, maybe, with, uh--

EMMA:

(EAGER) A droopy moustache?

NELLIE:

(POUNCES ON IT) That's it, a droopy moustache. And sort of --

EMMA:

Tall and thin! Oh, my goodness, do you know Uncle Morse?

NELLIE:

I should say I do! I knew him well in Cripple Creek. How is the old coyote? Put her there, Miss Emma. Any niece of Old Man Morse is a friend of mine!

EMMA:

Oh, how do you do? Won't you sit down, Miss, uh--?

SOUND:

EMMA AND NELLIE MOVE TO TABLE AND SIT, BEHIND--

NELLIE:

Nellie Cutts. You just call me Nellie. Now, as I was saying, I represent the Cripple Creek Record, and I'm on kind of a roving commission to report how things are on this side of the range. (LOW, CONFIDENTIAL) And, listen, this Borden story's got everything! New England old maid, Sunday-school teacher and all that. Just as a story, you know -- color. She ups and kills half the family with an axe! Interview with Miss Lizzie Borden a year after! Great stuff! They'd eat it up in Cripple Creek!

EMMA:

(NERVOUS) She won't see you. Lizzie won't see you, I know that.

NELLIE:

Well, how 'bout a word from you, the sister? How does it feel, Miss Emma, to live day in and day out within sight of the very bloodstains, as you might say?

EMMA:

(INHALES, UNNERVED)

NELLIE:

How does it feel to take meals with the woman who, uh - who was tried for the crime?

EMMA:

Oh, I've stood it as long as I can. That's why I'm going to Fairhaven. I can be alone in Fairhaven.

NELLIE:

Must have been pretty tough on the nerves, this last year. I guess Miss Lizzie'd be difficult to live with, huh?

EMMA:

(INHALES, NERVOUS, HUSHED) Ssh. She hears. She's always listening, and spying. She never leaves me alone. (ABRUPTLY) Oh, dear, I - I mustn't miss the three thirty-seven! What time is it?

NELLIE:

Oh, you won't miss it. It's only -- quarter of.

EMMA:

Oh, my watch says ten of.

NELLIE:

You know, I set mine at the station just before--

LITTLE GIRL:

(HOLLERS, OFF) Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks!

EMMA:

(GASPS IN HORROR)

SOUND:

EMMA RUSHES TO DOOR, BEHIND--

LITTLE GIRL:

(HOLLERS, OFF) And when she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one!

SOUND:

EMMA OPENS DOOR

LITTLE GIRL:

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks!

EMMA:

(YELLS, INDIGNANT, OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) Oh, go away, you naughty child! Go away!

NELLIE:

(TO HERSELF, SCRIBBLING DOWN THE CHANT, ALSO OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) What was that? "She gave her father forty-one." Oh, how did it begin?

LITTLE GIRL:

(OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) And when she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one!

EMMA:

Stop it, do you hear me?! Stop it!

NELLIE:

(TO HERSELF) Oh, this is a classic! (READS) "Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her--"

SOUND:

EMMA'S FOOTSTEPS TO NELLIE

EMMA:

(INTERRUPTS NELLIE) Oh, please, please, don't! (LOW) She hears every word you say down here. Her room is right up there.

NELLIE:

Right up there, huh? But she wasn't up there when her father was being murdered, was she? She was in the barn eating pears, she says. Now, Miss Emma, just sit down a minute, please.

EMMA:

(RELUCTANT SIGH)

SOUND:

EMMA SITS

NELLIE:

Is it true that on the morning of the murders the breakfast consisted of bananas, cookies, and cold mutton soup?

EMMA:

I don't know. I wasn't here, I was at Fairhaven.

NELLIE:

Cold mutton soup in August. No wonder somebody committed murder. Well, now, Miss Emma, your stepmother was found upstairs with her head battered in with an axe?

EMMA:

That's right.

NELLIE:

And your father's body was on the sofa here, like this.

SOUND:

NELLIE STRETCHES OUT ON SOFA

EMMA:

Oh, don't!

NELLIE:

Miss Lizzie spread the alarm. The front door was triple-locked and Miss Lizzie was watching the side door -- so she says. She was watching from the upper barn window, just standing there eating a pear and looking out -- she says. How could anyone outside have done it? How could they escape right under her eyes -- if Miss Lizzie wasn't lying?

EMMA:

(FIRM) My sister was acquitted.

NELLIE:

Beats me how they acquitted her.

EMMA:

(BEAT, QUIET) Blood.

NELLIE:

Hm?

EMMA:

Blood. Whoever did it was - covered with blood.

NELLIE:

Well, what about it?

EMMA:

Everybody saw Lizzie within ten minutes of the crime - and she hadn't a spot of blood on her. The biggest professors at Harvard tried to find blood on her clothes. There wasn't any. That's why they had to acquit her.

NELLIE:

Tell me, Miss Emma, did you look carefully at Miss Lizzie to see if there was any blood on her? Her hair, perhaps? Or her shoes?

EMMA:

(OFFENDED) Certainly not! My own sister! Besides, I didn't see Lizzie till I got back from Fairhaven that night.

NELLIE:

Maybe she used an apron, one of those big coveralls.

EMMA:

They never found one.

NELLIE:

Easy enough to hide a thing like that in your own house. They never found the axe, either, did they?

EMMA:

(THOUGHTFUL, SLOWLY) No. They never found the axe. I often wondered where it got to.

NELLIE:

They searched the house?

EMMA:

Yes. They searched.

SOUND:

NELLIE RISES AND MOVES TO FIREPLACE

NELLIE:

They took up the carpets, didn't they? Did they search the chimney?

EMMA:

Of course they did.

NELLIE:

Did they open the flue?

EMMA:

No. We wouldn't have them tearing up the house.

NELLIE:

(OFF) I'd tear it up.

SOUND:

LOOSE BRICK IN FIREPLACE

NELLIE:

(OFF) Loose brick here! Wouldn't be hard.

EMMA:

Oh, Lizzie wouldn't have it. Everything's Lizzie's now. (SADLY) Lizzie's and mine.

NELLIE:

(APPROACHES) Miss Emma, excuse me, but is there any insanity in your family?

EMMA:

Certainly not. That's the first thing they started asking. Oh, they asked ever so many questions about Uncle Morse.

NELLIE:

Good old Uncle Morse. He arrived for a visit, didn't he, just the day before the murders?

EMMA:

Yes. And they were awful about Uncle Morse. They kept asking people if he was quite right in the head. Just because he doesn't work steady anyplace but sort of drifts around. Oh, it made me terribly angry. Uncle Morse is as sane as I am.

NELLIE:

Where was he the morning of the murders?

EMMA:

Visiting around. He had a perfect alibi. It was just humiliating the way they snooped around about everybody. Where was Uncle Morse? Where was I?

NELLIE:

(THOUGHTFUL) Hmmm. (BEAT) Miss Emma -- tell me about the kitten.

EMMA:

(SHUDDERS)

NELLIE:

They say the kitten was found down in the cellar - dead. It had been killed with an axe.

EMMA:

(SLOWLY, SADLY) Oh. The kitten. The kitten was the hardest. I cried for a week. It brought on my neuralgia. I like kittens. Lizzie never cried at all. It was Lizzie's kitten. She's a hard woman.

NELLIE:

Yes. Well, now, Miss Emma, let's get back to the fatal day. Mrs. Borden is lying in her blood upstairs. The servant is downstairs. She hears Mr. Borden at the front door trying to get in. She goes to let him in. She finds the door is triple-locked. She lets him in, and upstairs on the landing she hears a horrible gloating laugh. The murderer is standing up there, Miss Emma, and, as she sees her second victim walk into her trap, she laughs!

EMMA:

(AGITATED) It wasn't Lizzie. Lizzie was downstairs.

NELLIE:

She changed her story! First she said she was downstairs, then upstairs. She was lying! Well, in comes Mr. Borden and lies down for a nap, right here on the sofa. (SLOWLY, OMINOUSLY) The murderer covers herself with something -- then creeps up on the old man with an axe from behind, like this, and brings down the axe again and again!

SOUND:

NELLIE POUNDS ON SOFA AGAIN AND AGAIN

EMMA:

(TEARFUL) No, no, no, no! No, no!

NELLIE:

(OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) Was it Miss Lizzie?! Was it?!

EMMA:

No! No, it wasn't Lizzie! It wasn't!

LIZZIE:

(INTERRUPTS CALMLY) Emma!

EMMA:

(CATCHES HERSELF, FALLS SILENT)

SOUND:

LIZZIE STEPS FORWARD

LIZZIE:

(COMPOSED AND COOL) You talk too much, Emma.

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

You are listening to "Goodbye, Miss Lizzie Borden," tonight's presentation in Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills -- SUSPENSE.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR AN ACCENT ... THEN OUT

CBS ANNCR:

CBS Radio reminds you to do as Sparky, the Fire Fighting Dog, says -- don't give fire a place to start. Be sure all cigarettes are out before discarding them. Clear your house of old newspapers, damaged furniture and inflammable debris. Repair electrical wiring as soon as it shows signs of wear. These simple rules will help keep your valuables safe. They could even save your life. Don't gamble with fire. The odds are against you.

MUSIC:

"SUSPENSE" THEME ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

And now, we bring back to our Hollywood soundstage Virginia Gregg, Irene Tedrow and Paula Winslowe starring in tonight's production, "Goodbye, Miss Lizzie Borden," a Tale Well-Calculated to Keep You in ... SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

UP, FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN OUT

EMMA:

Lizzie -- this lady's an old friend of Uncle Morse.

LIZZIE:

(COOL) You're going to miss your train, Emma.

EMMA:

Oh. Yes, Lizzie. Oh, dear, perhaps I should have called a cab. But it's only a step from here. Goodbye, Lizzie.

LIZZIE:

Goodbye.

SOUND:

EMMA'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY

LIZZIE:

Emma?

SOUND:

EMMA'S FOOTSTEPS STOP

EMMA:

Yes?

LIZZIE:

You forgot your gloves.

SOUND:

EMMA'S FOOTSTEPS RETURN

EMMA:

Oh. Oh, so I did. Thank you, Lizzie. Goodbye. (TO NELLIE) Goodbye, miss.

SOUND:

EMMA'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH OPENS AND SHUTS AS SHE EXITS

NELLIE:

Um, I represent the Cripple Creek Record, Miss Lizzie.

LIZZIE:

(SHARP) A friend of Uncle Morse? What color hair has the old man got?

NELLIE:

Gray.

LIZZIE:

Bald as an egg. Good day, miss.

SOUND:

FROM OFF, TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS AND ENGINE CHUGS AWAY, DURING FOLLOWING EXCHANGE IN WHICH LIZZIE BACKS NELLIE UP TO THE DOOR--

NELLIE:

But, Miss Borden, my paper wants an interview.

LIZZIE:

I don't give interviews.

NELLIE:

Just one question, Miss Lizzie. The bloodstained apron -- where did it get to?

LIZZIE:

I have nothing to say.

NELLIE:

And the bloody axe? Why wasn't the chimney-back searched?

LIZZIE:

Good day, miss.

NELLIE:

If you'd just say a word for my paper--

SOUND:

DOOR SLAMS SHUT ... PAUSE, AS ENGINE FADES AWAY IN DISTANCE ... LIZZIE'S FOOTSTEPS TO FIREPLACE ... SCRAPE OF BRICKS AS LIZZIE LOOSENS THEM WITH POKER AND SETS THEM ON FLOOR, THEN IN BG

LIZZIE:

(SIGHS, TO HERSELF) I suppose I'll have to hide them somewhere else now.

SOUND:

AS LIZZIE PILES THE BRICKS, DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS QUIETLY

EMMA:

(DRY THROAT, OFF) I - I missed the train.

LIZZIE:

You can catch the next one.

SOUND:

EMMA'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

EMMA:

(SURPRISED) Lizzie -- your apron. And the axe. That's where they were all the time.

LIZZIE:

Lock the door, Emma.

SOUND:

EMMA'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH IS LOCKED ... EMMA'S FOOTSTEPS TO LIZZIE

EMMA:

You - you hid them there -- after?

LIZZIE:

Yes. I was afraid Maggie would come down any minute. I hid them in the flue.

EMMA:

I always wondered where they got to. I wondered how they could search and search and never find them.

LIZZIE:

Father kept money behind that brick. He never knew I knew, and once he was dead nobody knew about it but me.

EMMA:

Why did you do it?

LIZZIE:

There's a way, isn't there, to tell who's been handling a weapon?

EMMA:

I don't know -- you've always been the clever one. I don't see any marks.

LIZZIE:

I don't, either, but they say the police can. A Frenchman wrote a book about it. Besides, you bought the axe in Fairhaven. It has the store mark etched on the head.

EMMA:

(BEAT, REALIZES) Why, Lizzie, you knew -- all the time.

LIZZIE:

I saw you. I saw you from the barn window. You came out the side door and stood looking around, and I saw your face. That was all I needed. You ran to the street, and I came in and - found Father. (BEAT) It was my apron, and the blood-- You needn't have used my apron, Emma.

EMMA:

(REASONABLE) It was the handiest, Lizzie.

LIZZIE:

And you'd brought the axe from Fairhaven. I only had a minute. I hid them in Father's hiding place. (ANGRY) They were safe until that newspaper snooper began to get ideas.

EMMA:

(CURIOUS) Why did you hide them, Lizzie?

LIZZIE:

What else could I do? I hated her, too, Emma.

EMMA:

Oh, you don't remember our mother as I do. You couldn't have hated Mrs. Borden as I did.

LIZZIE:

But Father-- Why Father?

EMMA:

After what he did to Mother? Marrying that woman so soon after? You were always soft over Father, Lizzie.

LIZZIE:

(SIGHS) It's a relief, I suppose. Oh, time after time, I've wanted to ask you about things when they were asking me questions -- cross-examining, keeping after me. Oh, I wanted so badly to know so I would know what to say. But I never dared ask you; they had spies about me all the time. Oh, I made so many mistakes. When they asked if I'd seen anybody leave the house, I was on my guard not to mention you. I said, "No, nobody." So they decided it couldn't have been a stranger that did it -- it must have been Lizzie! Oh, I ought to have said I saw the murderer leaving -- a - a big bearded man with a bloody axe. But I wasn't used to lying.

EMMA:

And when I went on the stand and told the truth, that I hated her worse than you did, they were sure I was lying to cover you.

LIZZIE:

I had to lie about the laugh. I had to change my story and say I was up there laughing. Otherwise they would have started asking, Who was laughing? Whose laugh sounds like Lizzie's?

EMMA:

Mine.

LIZZIE:

I haven't laughed since.

EMMA:

Neither have I.

LIZZIE:

(BEAT) I haven't laughed - since I found my kitten dead.

EMMA:

Oh, Lizzie, having to kill the kitten was the hardest. It brought on my neuralgia. I cried for a week over the kitten.

LIZZIE:

I know you did.

EMMA:

I cried because I had to do it, Lizzie.

LIZZIE:

Oh, I should have understood then. After the kitten, I should have been on guard. (BEAT) You know, I was afraid at first they'd find out you'd been away from Fairhaven.

EMMA:

Oh, I prayed for guidance, Lizzie. All the time I was at Fairhaven, I stayed in my room and prayed for guidance.

LIZZIE:

(PUZZLED) What's that got to do with it?

EMMA:

Why, don't you see? When the answer came to me, I just got the axe and started for Fall River. They thought I was still in my room.

LIZZIE:

What a risk that was.

EMMA:

Oh, no. No risk, Lizzie. My prayers for guidance were answered, don't you see? I was protected.

LIZZIE:

I protected you.

EMMA:

Why? I wonder why.

LIZZIE:

(SIGHS) Oh, I don't know. Because I've always protected you, I suppose. Because I enjoyed having the laugh on everybody, maybe.

EMMA:

I never guessed. You had the laugh on me, didn't you, Lizzie?

LIZZIE:

Didn't you know I knew? Huh. No, of course you didn't.

EMMA:

What would you have done if they'd found you guilty?

LIZZIE:

Gone through with it, I suppose. I'd have gone through with it before I'd [have] given in to them.

EMMA:

I guess you would. You were always a wicked, stubborn thing.

LIZZIE:

Well, I used to get sick of it -- the jail, reporters, examining, cross-examining -- I'd get sick of it, and think, I'd had enough, I'd tell them now -- the truth! And then that prosecutor would come along with his pious face like a public statue, and the very thought of giving in and admitting I'd lied would make me say, "No! I'll face it! They won't break me!" And they didn't.

EMMA:

(PROUD OF HER) No, they didn't.

LIZZIE:

Besides, it would have been giving in for nothing -- they wouldn't have believed me.

EMMA:

I suppose they wouldn't.

LIZZIE:

I used to wonder -- if they found me guilty, what would you have done?

EMMA:

I used to wonder, too. But I had my guidance. I didn't let it worry me.

LIZZIE:

(NETTLED) No, it didn't worry you. Me, sitting there in court day after day, the crowd hating me--

EMMA:

I know, Lizzie.

LIZZIE:

(ANGRY) Oh, how do you know? How do you know what I went through? The crowds staring, thinking I did it. The women who hiss at you at the courtroom door -- they hate you, they want to see you dead! What do you know about it?!

EMMA:

(INTENSE) What do you know about it, Lizzie?! You had the easy part. You didn't have to -- do it. I thought it would be like chopping wood. It isn't. Wood splits; the other - strikes back. It stops you. Wood doesn't bleed, Lizzie. It doesn't fly, jump at you -- the air filled with it.

LIZZIE:

I saw the walls.

EMMA:

You don't know! You don't know anything. You didn't have to do it. I - I didn't want to. (SHUDDERS, RELIVES THE MOMENT) Listen! There she is! Mrs. Borden -- going up the stairs! I'll have to hurry!

SOUND:

SCRAPE OF AXE AS EMMA GRABS IT

LIZZIE:

(ALARMED, FIERCE) Mrs. Borden's gone, Emma. She's been gone for a year.

EMMA:

No, no, she's upstairs! Don't stop me!

LIZZIE:

Put down the axe, Emma, and come with me.

EMMA:

(SUSPICIOUS) Where?

LIZZIE:

Just across the street to see Dr. Bowen.

EMMA:

Oh, so you can put me away. So you can shut me up. I'll not be shut up, Lizzie. I wasn't meant to be shut up!

LIZZIE:

(PATIENT) Just come and see Dr. Bowen--

EMMA:

No, no! He'll put me away. I'll not have it, Lizzie! I'll die first! (BEAT, REALIZES, QUIETLY) Oh, but - but I don't have to die, do I? Nobody knows but you. I'm not the one to die.

LIZZIE:

Emma? What are you doing?

EMMA:

(EERILY CALM) I'm putting on my apron. I just explained to you, Lizzie. Blood spatters. You don't want me to spoil my best fingerling [dress], do you?

LIZZIE:

Emma, listen to me. You have to go to Fairhaven. You'll miss the train. Emma? Emma!

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS AS EMMA SLOWLY MOVES IN ON LIZZIE WHO BACKS AWAY ... IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

EMMA:

(REASONABLE) It won't take long. It's over in a minute, Lizzie.

LIZZIE:

(NERVOUS) Emma! Think what you're doing! You can't escape twice!

EMMA:

Oh, yes, I can. I do what I have to do, and the rest takes care of itself. I don't want to -- you must understand that.

LIZZIE:

Emma, you don't have to.

EMMA:

Oh, yes. I knew as soon as I saw the axe. What else did you keep it for? I knew there was to be another.

LIZZIE:

But I kept it to protect you!

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS OUT BEHIND--

EMMA:

(CRIES OUT IN ANGUISH) Oh, Lizzie! Don't talk -- it only makes it harder! (INHALES, READY TO STRIKE) Now, Lizzie--

SOUND:

DOORBELL RINGS

EMMA:

(STARTLED, WHIMPERS, REGAINS HER SENSES)

SOUND:

LIZZIE'S QUICK FOOTSTEPS TO EMMA

LIZZIE:

(LOW, QUICK) Here, give it to me.

EMMA:

(SIGHS, IN RELIEF)

LIZZIE:

(LOW) That's better.

NELLIE:

(OFF, FROM OUTSIDE THE HOUSE) Miss Lizzie, can't you change your mind and give me a statement, now Miss Emma's gone? (SURPRISED, LOOKING IN WINDOW) Oh, there you are, Miss Emma. You missed the train after all.

LIZZIE:

(COMPOSED AND COOL AGAIN) You don't have to talk through the window, miss! (LOW) Take that thing off, Emma; and open the front door.

NELLIE:

(CHEERFUL, MOVING OFF) Well, good for you, Miss Lizzie.

LIZZIE:

(LOW, TO EMMA) Give me the apron, quick. I'll cover the axe with the newspaper. You be quiet.

SOUND:

LIZZIE STEPS TO TABLE, DROPS AXE ON IT ... RATTLE OF NEWSPAPER

LIZZIE:

(LOW, TO EMMA) Now -- open the door.

SOUND:

EMMA WALKS ACROSS ROOM TO DOOR AND OPENS IT ... NELLIE BARGES IN, DOOR CLOSES, BEHIND--

NELLIE:

(APPROACHES) Oh, this is real nice of you, Miss Lizzie. Hot day. I hope we have rain. What's the weather forecast? What's the paper say?

SOUND:

RATTLE OF NEWSPAPER

LIZZIE:

(NERVOUS, QUICKLY) Fair and warmer, fair and warmer.

NELLIE:

(SURPRISED) Oh. Fair and warmer.

LIZZIE:

Now, then, young woman, what do you want to know? Quickly, please!

NELLIE:

Tell me, Miss Lizzie -- the murder weapon. Was it ever found? What's your opinion? Where did it get to?

LIZZIE:

I think the murderer carried it away with him.

NELLIE:

That's all you think?

LIZZIE:

That's all, thank you very much.

NELLIE:

But I'm not through--

LIZZIE:

I have nothing more to say. Miss Emma is leaving now. You can walk with her to the station.

NELLIE:

Well-- Hey! Isn't this the Providence Journal? I hear they put out a scorching editorial wanting to know why these murders are still unsolved.

SOUND:

RATTLE OF NEWSPAPER

LIZZIE:

Please, don't--!

SOUND:

AXE FALLS FROM TABLE TO FLOOR

LIZZIE:

(PAUSE, QUIETLY) Emma. Don't miss your train. Come along.

SOUND:

LIZZIE SLOWLY WALKS EMMA TO THE DOOR WHICH OPENS

EMMA:

(BEAT, CALM) I'll send for my things, Lizzie.

LIZZIE:

Very well, Emma.

EMMA:

Goodbye, Lizzie.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES ... BEAT ... LIZZIE SLOWLY WALKS BACK TO TABLE

NELLIE:

Isn't she coming back?

LIZZIE:

(ABSENTLY) What did you say?

NELLIE:

Isn't she coming back?

LIZZIE:

No. She isn't coming back.

NELLIE:

So that's the axe. Whole thing torn wide open now, hm? Will you give me a statement?

LIZZIE:

Certainly not.

NELLIE:

Miss Emma thinks now you killed them, doesn't she? Did you, Miss Lizzie?

LIZZIE:

No, I didn't kill them.

NELLIE:

Come on, you've been acquitted; you can't be tried again.

LIZZIE:

I didn't do it.

NELLIE:

Then who did it? It was somebody in the house. There's the murder weapon. If you didn't do it, who did? Maggie? Miss Emma? (GASPS, SNAPS HER FINGERS) Miss Emma! That's it! Miss Emma Borden! Why didn't I see it before?

LIZZIE:

(EXHALES) Stop talking rubbish, young woman. I'll make a statement for you. (BEAT, FIRM) I did it.

NELLIE:

You killed them? You killed them both? With the axe?

LIZZIE:

(IMPATIENT) Yes.

NELLIE:

Why? Why did you?

LIZZIE:

(ANNOYED, SNAPPISH) I don't like cold mutton soup!

NELLIE:

(WHISPERS) What a scoop!

LIZZIE:

It isn't a scoop!

NELLIE:

Why not?

LIZZIE:

It isn't a scoop if you can't print it and I'll sue you if you print it! I've been acquitted in open court, my girl! I'm innocent, and don't you forget it! You print a word, and I'll sue. I've got a quarter of a million dollars and I'll spend every cent of it defending my good name.

NELLIE:

Good name! Everybody in Fall River knows you did it. You just admitted it yourself.

LIZZIE:

Never mind. Never mind what I admitted. Just you keep your tongue between your teeth. You're not going to print that story, so you can tear up those notes of yours.

NELLIE:

(DEFIANT) I certainly will not tear it up. I have a duty to my paper--

SOUND:

SCRAPE OF AXE AS LIZZIE GRABS IT FROM THE FLOOR

LIZZIE:

I said-- (BEAT, THREATENING) Tear it up.

NELLIE:

(STUNNED) You wouldn't.

LIZZIE:

(OMINOUS) Tear it up.

SOUND:

NELLIE SLOWLY BACKS AWAY TOWARD THE DOOR, TEARING UP PAPER AS SHE GOES, BEHIND--

NELLIE:

(NERVOUS) Of course, Miss Lizzie, glad to oblige you. You can put down the axe. Thank you, Miss Lizzie, for your time. I'm just going.

LIZZIE:

Go on. Open the door. Go on!

NELLIE:

(SHAKEN) Yes! Yes, of course.

SOUND:

HURRIES TO DOOR WHICH OPENS

NELLIE:

Thank you again. (WRY) No wonder Miss Emma isn't coming back. (WITH FINALITY) Goodbye, Miss Lizzie!

SOUND:

DOOR SLAMS SHUT ... BEAT ... LIZZIE WALKS SLOWLY TO DOOR AND DROPS THE AXE

LIZZIE:

(SHUDDERS, EXHALES IN RELIEF ... THEN GASPS, STARTLED, BEHIND--)

LITTLE GIRL:

(HOLLERS, OFF) Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks!
And when she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one!

LIZZIE:

(BREAKS DOWN AND WEEPS)

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE--!

MUSIC:

"SUSPENSE" STING ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

ANNOUNCER:

--in which Irene Tedrow, Paula Winslowe and Virginia Gregg starred in tonight's presentation of "Goodbye, Miss Lizzie Borden."

Next week, be sure to listen to Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills--

MUSIC:

"SUSPENSE" STING

ANNOUNCER:

--SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

CLOSING MARCH ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE is produced and transcribed by Antony Ellis. Tonight's script was written by Lillian de la Torre. The music was composed by Rene Garriguenc and conducted by Wilbur Hatch. Featured in the cast were Helen Kleeb, Leonard Weinrib and Richard Beals. [X]

CBS ANNCR:

It's here! Every weekday evening! The new JACK CARSON SHOW! Tony Romano sings; the King Sisters, for a number, are, as you might expect, a quartet of highly vocal, tuneful gals; Roy Chamberlain's Orchestra provides a gay musical backdrop to the proceedings. So listen to CBS Radio's JACK CARSON SHOW, Monday through Friday evenings! A new star attraction at the Stars' Address, on most of these same stations!

MUSIC:

CLOSING MARCH ... TILL END