Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Mysterious Traveler
Show: The Ugliest Woman Alive
Date: Feb 20 1944

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER / NARRATOR
GLORIA KING
RICHARD
PROFESSOR HADLEY
MARTHA (MAID)
JANE ARNOLD
DAN

SOUND:

TRAIN WHISTLE...

MUSIC:

ORGAN SIMULATES TRAIN...UP...THEN DOWN BEHIND

ANNOUNCER:

The Mysterious Traveler!

MUSIC:

ORGAN UP BRIEFLY...OUT BEHIND WHISTLE

SOUND:

(ON CUE) WHISTLE...THEN ESTABLISH TRAIN INTERIOR...DOWN TO B. G.

MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER:

(VERY SUAVE) This is the Mysterious Traveler..... inviting you to join him on another journey into the realm of the strange and terrifying. I hope you will enjoy the trip..that it will thrill you a little and chill you a little...So settle back...get a good grip on your nerves...Where are we going?..(LAUGHTER IN VOICE) You'll find out when we get there. I hope it's not making you nervous being alone with me here in the dark...darkness stirs strange terrors in some minds, for the things that happen at night are sometimes..most upsetting. Things such as..people who vanish--suddenly--as in the tale of (SHARP STAB OF ORGAN) The Ugliest Woman Alive.

MUSIC:

UP TO A PEAK......AND OUT

MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER:

I once met a woman who confessed to being the ugliest woman alive, and yet, I thought her beautiful. She told me a story so strange, so incredible, that most people would have thought her insane...yet I believed her...It all began a year ago in a small house in a lonely section of the Hudson VAlley. The house lay hidden in a grove of trees, and at each window the blinds were drawn, as though to protect someone within from the world outside...From one of the darkened rooms came the deep bitter weeping of a woman.

SOUND: (ON CUE) FADE-IN GLORIA WEEPING. HOLD...THEN...

SOUND:

OF KNOCKING ON DOOR

GLORIA:

(STIFLING SOBS) (HER VOICE IS HARSH, DEEP) What is it?

MARTHA:

(MUFFLED) It's your cousin Richard, Miss, he's here to see you.

GLORIA:

Send him away! I don't want to see him!

SOUND:

OF DOOR OPENED

GLORIA:

(SCREAMING) I thought I told you-

RICHARD:

(SLIGHT FADE-IN) Forgive me for breaking in like this, Gloria, but I've come to see you as your doctor, not your cousin.

GLORIA:

(BITTERLY) Are you sure you haven't also come to borrow some money to shower on that beautiful, stupid wife of yours!

RICHARD:

You haven't any right to talk about my wife like that.

GLORIA:

I speak as I please! If you don't like it, get out!

RICHARD:

(SIGHS) Your servant, Martha, tells me you're in constant pain. You'd better let me examine you.

GLORIA:

I don't want to be examined! There's nothing you or anyone else can do for me!

RICHARD:

Gloria, you can't go on this way year after year, shutting yourself off from the world and everyone, never leaving this darkened room. As your doctor, I can't be responsible for the consequences.

GLORIA:

(BITTERLY) As my doctor!! (SCREAMING) You're all a pack of frauds! Ever since childhood it's been one operation after another! And look at me! Even more ugly and deformed than I was after the accident!

RICHARD:

Now Gloria, I can understand how you feel, but -

GLORIA:

(HYSTERICALLY) You can understand how I feel...Do you know what it is to be so ugly and deformed that you can't bear to look at yourself in the mirror? To have people shudder when they see you!

RICHARD:

If you just didn't think about it so much, you might -

GLORIA:

How can I escape thinking about it, when every moment I'm racked with pain! What've I got to look forward to? Twenty or thirty years of pain and darkness! (VOICE BREAKING - HIT HARD) I'd give all these years, all of them, just to be beautiful and well for six months.

RICHARD:

You mustn't lose hope, Gloria. Perhaps another operation in the future will -

GLORIA:

You're lying! You know that no operation can help me! I'm doomed to be ugly and deformed as long as I live! There's no use pretending...(SHE MOANS)

RICHARD:

Here, let me look at you...You know your heart can't stand excitement.

GLORIA:

(GASPING, PULLS HERSELF TOGETHER) I'm all right...leave me alone.

RICHARD:

You're not all right. Look here, Gloria...in your condition you need a doctor to live here and look after you. Now, a few days ago, I met an old teacher of mine, Professor Hadley. I'm sure I could prevail upon him to accept a position here.

GLORIA:

He'd be just like the rest of them. Promises, promises - nothing else.

RICHARD:

I'm sure you'd like him, and he was once considered the most brilliant neurologist in the country.

GLORIA:

What do you mean, "was once considered."

RICHARD:

Well, at the height of his career, something no one seems to know about changed him overnight. He took to drinking, and as a result lost his position at the University, his practice...everything.

GLORIA:

In other words he's like me..an outcast.

RICHARD:

Yes, I suppose you might say that.

GLORIA:

Then what better place could there be for the Professor than this house? It was built for outcasts. If he [...]

MUSIC:

UP INTO AN EERIE THEME, THEN DOWN BEHIND NARRATOR, ON CUE

NARRATOR:

So, early one evening, a week later, Professor Hadley arrived. Martha, the servant, led the Professor to her mistresses's room. The Professor looked about the darkened room, trying to find the figure of his new employer.

MUSIC:

OUT WITH SMALL STING

GLORIA:

Forgive my receiving you in the darkness, Professor, but I prefer it this way.

PROFESSOR:

(SLIGHTLY TIGHT) My dear Miss King, we'll have to see each other sooner or later, and this is as good a time as any. Now where's the light switch?

GLORIA:

(ANGRILY) I don't want you to turn on -

PROFESSOR:

Ah, here it is.

SOUND:

OF LIGHT SWITCH

GLORIA:

(FURIOUS) Professor, you'll have to learn that my wishes come first, not yours! (PAUSE) Why do you keep staring at me like that!

PROFESSOR:

Merely professional interest.

GLORIA:

Well, why don't you say it! I'm hideous! The ugliest woman you've ever seen!

PROFESSOR:

Do you have a glass? I dislike drinking out of a bottle....Ah, here's one.

GLORIA:

What's the matter, Professor? Is my ugliness such a shock that you need a drink!..I suppose you're going to tell me what the rest of them have - that another operation might make a new woman out of me!

SOUND:

OF A DRINK BEING POURED.

PROFESSOR:

No, Miss King. I, for one, will not delude you. (DRINKS) I'm afraid no operation could help you.

GLORIA:

(BURSTING INTO TEARS) Get out, do you hear! Get out, you drunken fool!

PROFESSOR:

Forgive me if you can't stand to hear the truth. I have difficulty myself in facing it..so I escape through drinking.

SOUND:

OF A DRINK BEING POURED.

GLORIA:

Anyone can see what I seek to escape, but what do you seek to escape, Professor?

PROFESSOR:

Memories, Miss King.

GLORIA:

You're a coward, Professor. A person can overcome memories, but what can one do with a face and body such as mine?

PROFESSOR:

Believe me, my memories are as terrifying as..as your appearance. (DRINKS) Strangely enough, they were brought about as a result of trying to help people like you.

SOUND:

OF A DRINK BEING POURED.

GLORIA:

(CURIOUS) You were trying to help people like me?....How?

PROFESSOR:

Does it matter? You might say that I had a dream..a dream of the future as only a scientist might have...As you can see - I failed.

GLORIA:

I should very much like to hear about it, Professor, that is if you don't mind telling me about it.

PROFESSOR:

But I do mind, Miss King, just as you mind being stared at.

SOUND:

OF A DRINK BEING POURED.

PROFESSOR:

I trust you don't object to my drinking?

GLORIA:

No, Professor, not at all. Go right ahead.....meanwhile we can talk. I'm more than interested in what you have to say.

PROFESSOR:

(DRINKS) Miss King, pioneering doesn't pay. I was a famous doctor and teacher, but then I decided to pioneer in a field as yet untouched by science. I accepted the challenge of the unknown...but I failed.

GLORIA:

(INTENTLY) But what was this experiment you engaged in, Professor?

PROFESSOR:

You wouldn't understand. Even men of science, men who should have understood, didn't believe it could be done.

GLORIA:

Tell me about it. Perhaps I will understand.

SOUND:

OF A DRINK BEING POURED

PROFESSOR:

It is generally believed that when a man dies, his body becomes worthless. But that isn't true, for science has already been able to make use of the dead.

GLORIA:

Make use of the dead?...How?

PROFESSOR:

By using parts of the eyes of the dead for the living blind. (DRINKS) The eyes of the dead have provided sight for thousands of people who were doomed to eternal darkness because they lacked retinas.

GLORIA:

In other words..the dead supplied the living with missing parts.

PROFESSOR:

Yes.

GLORIA:

And is that what your experiment was about?

PROFESSOR:

It was along those lines. As a brain specialist, I felt that this remarkable step in science could be carried still further.

GLORIA:

Carried still further?

PROFESSOR:

Yes. As a brain specialist, I quite often had young patients who were doomed to die shortly because of brain disorders. Think of what a waste it was, burying those fine young bodies.

GLORIA:

But what good were those bodies to anyone?

PROFESSOR:

What good were those bodies? Surely my dear Miss King, you could do with a new body. Look at you, ugly and broken...a human wreck.

GLORIA:

Yes, I see what you mean...but how could it be done?

PROFESSOR:

According to my theory, your brain could be transferred to another woman's body - a woman who had died of a brain disorder, but was otherwise organically sound.

GLORIA:

My brain..transferred..to another woman's body.

PROFESSOR:

Yes. Outwardly, of course, this woman would continue to live, but it would be you, for it would be your brain that would be master of the body.

GLORIA:

You mean I would live in another woman's body...a young beautiful body.

PROFESSOR:

Yes, that was the theory.

SOUND:

OF A DRINK BEING POURED

GLORIA:

Professor Hadley -- it's more than a theory, isn't it? You've tried it out, haven't you?

PROFESSOR:

It's still an unproven theory, Miss King...(DRINKS)...for the experiment failed.

GLORIA:

(HIT HARD) It...failed?

PROFESSOR:

Yes, and my assistant paid for my failure with his life. It was his brain I tried to transfer to another body...

SOUND:

OF A DRINK BEING POURED

GLORIA:

But you still believe in your theory, don't you?

PROFESSOR:

(GETTING SLEEPY) Yes, I believe in it, but my pioneering days are over. (DRINKS) I know the time will come when some brave young scientist (ALMOST ASLEEP) more fortunate than myself, will prove that I was right.

GLORIA:

(HALF ALOUD) To have a fine, beautiful body..why I'd give the rest of my life, just to be young and beautiful for six months. (VOICE UP) Professor, would you -- ? Professor? (TRACE OF A SNORE) Oh - you're asleep. Well, when you awaken, we'll have a talk...a long talk.

MUSIC:

UP OMINOUSLY -- THEN DOWN BEHIND NARRATOR

NARRATOR:

And all through the long night, the Professor slept off his drunken stupor. And all through the long night, an idea beat in Gloria's brain -- beat with an ever-increasing intensity -- an intensity that could scarcely wait for the Professor's awakening in the morning.

MUSIC:

OUT WITH SLIGHT STING

PROFESSOR:

(YAWNING AS HE AWAKES) Oh....

GLORIA:

Good morning, Professor.

PROFESSOR:

(STARTLED) What?..Oh, it's you, Miss King. I seem to have fallen asleep on your couch.

GLORIA:

That's quite all right. Do you recall the talk we had last night, Professor?

PROFESSOR:

The talk we had? Only vaguely, I'm afraid.

GLORIA:

You told me about your experiment...and the unfortunate assistant who died.

PROFESSOR:

(STUNNED) I told you...about that? (QUICKLY) I'm afraid I was quite drunk, Miss King. I trust you didn't take what I said seriously.

GLORIA:

But I do, Professor. (QUICKLY) And there's no need for you to deny what you told me last night.

PROFESSOR:

Very well, Miss King, then I won't deny anything. Let's just forget about the entire matter.

GLORIA:

I have no intention of forgetting about it, Professor.

PROFESSOR:

What do you mean?

GLORIA:

You tried to prove your theory once, and you failed. Now I want you to try a second time, using me as your subject.

PROFESSOR:

But..but that's impossible! I couldn't, not after watching my assistant die. I've lost my nerve. I'm through!

GLORIA:

Professor, evidently the police never found out about your assistant's death, or you would have lost your license...been sent to prison.

PROFESSOR:

You mean...you'd tell them?

GLORIA:

I shall tell them -- only if you refuse to do as I ask.

PROFESSOR:

But you don't comprehend the risk involved! I'm only working on a theory, with the odds a thousand to one against my succeeding!

GLORIA:

What do I have to lose? Twenty, thirty years of pain and ugliness? I'm more than willing to gamble those years for a new body. I'd take the chance even if it were for only six months in a young and beautiful body...instead of a lifetime.

PROFESSOR:

But there're so many obstacles! I'd need a laboratory such as was never seen before, with special equipment and instruments. It would be extremely expensive.

GLORIA:

That wouldn't matter. I'm quite wealthy.

PROFESSOR:

I'd need an assistant. I can't operate alone.

GLORIA:

I can provide you with one.

PROFESSOR:

But most important of all, at the time of the operation, I'd need the body of a woman who had been dead only a few hours from a brain disorder.

GLORIA:

I promise that you'll have her, Professor, and anything else you need.

PROFESSOR:

(TORMENTEDLY) It will be difficult, most difficult, with tremendous odds against us. (TEMPTED) Of course it would ----

GLORIA:

Come, Professor, I'm willing to take the chance...why not you?

PROFESSOR:

All right, I'll do it!

MUSIC:

UP WITH A SMASH! THEN INTO EERIE AND DOWN BEHIND NARRATOR

NARRATOR:

Weeks passed. Weeks in which boxes and crates were constantly arriving at the house. Weeks in which workmen came from the nearby town to assist the Professor in building his laboratory. But at the end of a month it was complete to the last detail, and the Professor announced his readiness. It was at this time that Richard, in response to a letter from his cousin, Gloria, arrived at the house one evening.

MUSIC:

OUT WITH SMALL STING

RICHARD:

(SLIGHT FADE-IN) Gloria, what's going on here?

GLORIA:

Hello, Richard. Sit down, won't you?

RICHARD:

Gloria, what are you up to? Why have you furnished this house with a laboratory and an operating room? Why, you must have spent thousands of dollars on all that equipment!

GLORIA:

Yes, Richard, I have.

RICHARD:

But why? Professor Hadley wouldn't tell me a thing. He just kept referring me to you.

GLORIA:

The Professor has a theory, Richard, which we intend to put into practice.

RICHARD:

A theory?

GLORIA:

Yes, Richard. The Professor is going to attempt to transfer my brain to the body of another woman.

RICHARD:

What! Why, you're mad! It's never been done!

GLORIA:

That's quite true, Richard, but there's always a first time for everything. Why not now?

RICHARD:

Why, nothing like it's ever been attempted! It won't work, I tell you!

GLORIA:

Perhaps not. But look at me, Richard. What have I to lose? No matter how great the odds, I'm going through with it! And you're going to assist the Professor in the operation.

RICHARD:

What're you saying? I'll have no part in this madness! Why, if I did, I could have my license taken away from me!

GLORIA:

You could also have your fine home and car taken away, too, Richard.

RICHARD:

(FALTERINGLY) What do you mean?

GLORIA:

I hold notes of yours amounting to thirty thousand dollars, Richard. If you act as the Professor's assistant, those notes will be torn up. If you don't, I'll collect them to the last penny.

RICHARD:

I don't seem to have much choice.

GLORIA:

No, Richard, you don't.

RICHARD:

Very well, I'll serve as the Professor's assistant.

GLORIA:

Good. If you'll join the Professor in the laboratory, he'll give you the details of the entire operation.

RICHARD:

All right. (SLIGHT FADE) But I still think the whole thing is madness.

SOUND:

OF DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING

GLORIA:

(BITTERLY) The fool! He doesn't even realize I'll go mad if I remain the way I am. This operation is the only chance out.

SOUND:

OF DOOR BUZZER

GLORIA:

(STARTLED) That must be the girl!..Yes...

SOUND:

OF DOOR OPENED

JANE:

(SLIGHTLY OFF) Miss King?

GLORIA:

Yes. Good evening. You must be Jane Arnold.

JANE:

Yes, that's right!

GLORIA:

I've been expecting you. Come in, won't you?

JANE:

Thank you. It's-it's rather dark in here.

SOUND:

OF DOOR CLOSING

GLORIA:

Forgive me for not having any lights on, but they bother my eyes.

JANE:

Oh, I'm sorry.

GLORIA:

(SLIGHT FADE) Won't you sit down? You'll find a chair by that desk where you're standing.

JANE:

A chair?...Oh, yes, here it is. Thank you.

GLORIA:

(SLIGHTLY OFF) If you like you may turn on that desk lamp.

JANE:

Are you sure it won't bother you?

GLORIA:

(S.O.) No, it won't bother me in this corner of the room.

JANE:

All right, Miss King.

SOUND:

OF LIGHT SWITCH

JANE:

There.

GLORIA:

(PLEASED) You are beautiful! Even more beautiful than your picture.

JANE:

Thank you.

GLORIA:

Of all the applications I received for the position of my secretary, I like yours the best, Miss Arnold. As I recall, you mentioned in your letter you haven't any relatives.

JANE: Yes, that's right. I'm quite free to live here with you. In fact, Miss King, I'm rather anxious to leave the city.

GLORIA:

Oh, that's fine. Now as my secretary, your main job would be to write personal letters for me. Do you have a nice handwriting, Miss Arnold?

JANE:

[?]

GLORIA:

Suppose you take a letter I dictate. You'll find pen and paper on that desk.

JANE:

Oh, yes, here it is....I'm ready, Miss King.

GLORIA:

My dear Professor Hadley...

SOUND:

OF PEN WRITING THROUGH FOLLOWING

GLORIA:

This letter will serve as an agreement between the two of us. For a sum of money, which has already been paid me, I hereby agree to lend myself to the experiment you are engaged in, well aware of the consequences. I sign this of my own free will...Jane Arnold...Have you got all that, Miss Arnold?

JANE:

(AS SHE WRITES) "I sign this of my own free will...Jane Arnold"...Yes, it's..why, I signed it. You didn't want me to, did you, Miss King?

GLORIA:

(FADE-IN) (EAGER) Yes, very much. I'd like to see what your signature looks like.

JANE:

Oh, I see, but - (SHE GASPS)

GLORIA:

(IN FULL) What's the matter, Miss Arnold? Are you surprised at what your new employer looks like?

JANE:

(TERRIFIED) No..It's just that..I..I..

GLORIA:

(ANGRILY) Perhaps I am hideous, but I won't be like this for long! Soon I'll be just as beautiful as you are!

JANE:

I've...I've changed my mind, Miss King. I don't want the position..I..I want to leave.

GLORIA:

I'm afraid you can't, Miss Arnold. I have other plans for you!

JANE:

What do you mean? What have you got there?

GLORIA:

Just a hypodermic, my dear. A few seconds after you receive this, my face will never frighten you again.

JANE:

No...No! Stay away from me! Don't touch me with that! (SHE SCREAMS AS SHE GETS THE NEEDLE)

GLORIA:

There, it's all over now, Miss Arnold. That didn't hurt, did it?

JANE:

(A WHISPER) What've you done to me?..I..I..feel so dizzy.

GLORIA:

Why don't you just lie down here?

JANE:

Don't touch me!..I..I..have to..get out..of here...I...Oh..(SHE COLLAPSES)

GLORIA:

(SOFTLY) She's beautiful...beautiful.

SOUND:

OF DOOR OPENING

PROFESSOR:

(SLIGHT FADE-IN) Miss King, did I hear someone scream in here?

GLORIA:

I'm afraid you just imagined you did, Professor.

RICHARD:

(FADE-IN) Gloria, who's this girl?..Why, she's unconscious.

GLORIA:

Yes, that's right. She's the one we're going to use in the experiment.

PROFESSOR:

But, Miss King, this girl is still alive. You were supposed to supply me with a woman dead a few hours from a brain disorder.

GLORIA:

What's the difference, Professor? This young lady is a hopeless case...tumor of the brain. She only has a few more months to live, and agreed to the experiment, provided I took care of her family.

RICHARD:

But why is she unconscious?

GLORIA:

Naturally, the thought of dying terrified her, so I gave her a hypodermic. We both thought it would be better that way.

PROFESSOR:

But I can't proceed with the operation until I have this girl's permission.

GLORIA:

Oh, that's all been taken care of, Professor. Here's a letter she wrote a few minutes ago.

SOUND:

LETTER

PROFESSOR:

Mmmmmm. Yes, this seems satisfactory.

GLORIA:

Are you ready to proceed with the operation, Professor?

PROFESSOR:

Yes, everything is prepared.

GLORIA:

Good. Then I place myself in your hands, Professor. I too am prepared -- for life...or for death.

MUSIC:

UP SHARP AND DRAMATIC, THEN INTO EERIE AND DOWN BEHIND FOLLOWING.

SOUND:

THROUGH FOLLOWING..THE HISS OF OXYGEN TANK...STEADY INHALATION...CLINK OF INSTRUMENTS...

NARRATOR:

A little while later, two figures were on the operating tables. One young and beautiful..the other ugly and deformed. Professor Hadley prepared for the operation as Richard placed a mask on the face of one of the two patients and turned on the nitrous oxide. A few moments later, at a nod from Richard, the Professor picked up an instrument and began the first operation. The seconds dragged into minutes, the minutes into hours, as Richard passed one instrument after another to the Professor, at the same time watching the machines carefully...Time and time again, when it appeared that all was lost, Richard kept a spark of life alive with adrenalin and oxygen...Hours later, Professor Hadley wearily turned from the operating table and slowly removed his gloves. He had done everything that was possible, the rest was up to fate.

MUSIC:

SWEEPING UP FOR CLIMAX AND OUT WITH STING

PROFESSOR:

(WEARILY) What's her pulse, Richard?

RICHARD:

Fifty-eight...a little stronger.

PROFESSOR:

It's very encouraging.

RICHARD:

Don't you think you ought to lie down and rest, Professor? You must be very tired after operating for five hours.

PROFESSOR:

That doesn't matter. What does matter is..will she survive?

RICHARD:

If she does, you'll go down in history as one of the greatest scientists of all time.

PROFESSOR:

It's only my work that counts. Think of it, Richard. If I've succeeded, it will open a vast new field in science. By using bodies of the dead, we'll be able to save many of the living who are doomed to die young.

RICHARD:

Yes, it's - (TENSE) Professor, her pulse is much stronger!

PROFESSOR:

She's regaining consciousness.

RICHARD:

Then...then you've succeeded!

PROFESSOR:

That remains to be seen. She may be blind...dumb...even an idiot. We must be prepared for anything.

RICHARD:

(ON EDGE) Her pulse beat is almost normal.

PROFESSOR:

She's opening her eyes..looking at me. (SOFTLY) Miss King, can you hear me?

JANE:

(WEAKLY) Pro...Professor.

RICHARD:

Her voice..it's completely changed!

PROFESSOR:

You forget, Richard, that her voice is now that of Jane Arnold.

RICHARD:

Yes...of course.

JANE:

Professor..was the operation..a success?

PROFESSOR:

So far it appears to be, Miss King.

JANE:

Please...let me see...a mirror.

PROFESSOR:

A mirror? Yes, of course...Here, I'll hold it for you.

JANE:

Yes. It's her face. I speak..and her lips move..I'm beautiful...beautiful...not ugly and deformed!

PROFESSOR:

You mustn't talk anymore, Miss King. Your condition is still very serious.

JANE:

You must remember, Professor...Gloria King is dead...I'm now Jane Arnold.

PROFESSOR:

Yes, Gloria King is dead...Now you must be quiet and rest. It will be two or three weeks before you recover..then you'll find a new life awaiting you.

JANE:

(HAPPILY) A new life waiting...a beautiful life.

MUSIC UP FOR TIME BRIDGE, THEN DOWN AND OUT

SOUND:

OF DOOR OPENING

JANE:

(YOUNG & HAPPY) Good morning, Professor....Good morning, Richard.

PROFESSOR:

Good morning.

RICHARD:

How are you, Gloria?

JANE:

(IMPATIENTLY) Richard, how many times have I told you that Gloria King is dead. My name is now Jane Arnold.

RICHARD:

Oh, I'm sorry. I keep forgetting.

JANE:

Professor, it's been a month now since the operation. How much longer must I stay here? I want to leave this house, and really begin to live.

PROFESSOR:

I'm happy to say you're completely recovered. You're free to leave whenever you wish.

JANE:

Free to leave..after all the years I've spent in this house. I can hardly believe it. But that mirror, it shows me to be young...beautiful...(LAUGHS HAPPILY) What're your plans, Professor?

PROFESSOR:

Richard and I are going to remain here and finish our paper on the experiment. It will be the most startling scientific work of the century.

RICHARD:

Yes - the Professor will be famous the world over.

JANE:

This paper you're writing..will it have names..dates..everything exactly as it occurred?

PROFESSOR:

Naturally. It will be a complete record, with you as the living proof.

JANE:

But think of the publicity it would create. Why, it would follow me wherever I went..make a spectacle of me.

PROFESSOR:

But you can't hide a great discovery like mine from the world.

RICHARD:

I should say not.

JANE:

Professor, I'm afraid you'll have to.

PROFESSOR:

What do you mean?

JANE:

I'm afraid it may come to you as a shock, but Jane Arnold didn't part with this body willingly.

PROFESSOR:

But you showed me the letter she had written, giving me permission to use her body.

JANE:

I tricked her into writing that letter, Professor. I never saw Jane Arnold before that evening.

RICHARD:

What!

PROFESSOR:

(STUNNED) You mean she didn't have a brain disorder..that she wasn't doomed to die in a few months?

JANE:

No, Professor, she wasn't.

PROFESSOR:

That means you tricked me...into committing murder.

JANE:

Come now, Professor. No one will ever know that I'm not Jane Arnold..unless you publish your paper on the experiment. And of course you can't do that, for that would publish the fact that you've committed murder.

RICHARD:

She's right, Professor.

PROFESSOR:

You're very clever, Miss King, or perhaps I should say Miss Arnold, but in spite of your cleverness, I'm going to publish my paper on the experiment.

RICHARD:

But, Professor, that might well mean the chair.

PROFESSOR:

Quite true, but at least I'll die knowing the world knew of my success. That is something worth leaving behind.

JANE:

It might be for you, Professor, but it wouldn't be for me.

PROFESSOR:

I'm afraid you haven't any choice in the matter.

SOUND:

OF DRAWER OPENED

RICHARD:

Professor, she's got a gun!

JANE:

Yes. I don't like to do this, but you give me no alternative.

PROFESSOR:

Put that gun down! You're mad!

JANE:

After living ugly and deformed for so many years, Professor, I don't intend to let you publish a paper that would spoil the life I've always dreamed of living.

PROFESSOR:

(IN FULL) Give me that gun!

SOUND:

OF A SHOT...PROFESSOR GROANS...HITS THE FLOOR

RICHARD:

(SHOCKED) You've killed him!

JANE:

Yes, Richard, I've killed him.

RICHARD:

How could you, Gloria, after he did so much for you?

JANE:

(ANGRILY) Gloria! Gloria! You haven't even the sense to remember my name is now Jane Arnold! (CALMING DOWN) I'm afraid, Richard, that you, too, are too dangerous to leave alive.

RICHARD:

What're you saying? I'm your cousin.

JANE:

You were Gloria King's cousin, but you're not mine.

RICHARD:

Gloria, how can you talk like that! You can't do this to me! No, don't shoot! I'll do anything you want! Gloria, don't --

SOUND:

OF A SHOT...RICHARD GROANS...HITS THE FLOOR

JANE:

(HUGGING MIKE) Too bad, Richard, but I had no choice. You were the last link between my past and the future. I couldn't let the two of you live...not with what you both knew..(SUDDENLY) Their bodies! I must get rid of them, cover up everything..If I burnt the house down..Yes, that's it! I'll burn the house down and everything in it, including the ugly and deformed body of Gloria King! Then I'll be free..free to live as [Jane Arnold?]

MUSIC:

UP WITH A SMASH...THEN EERIE AND DOWN BEHIND NARRATOR

NARRATOR:

An hour later Jane Arnold waited impatiently at the small village station for the arrival of the train that was to take her to the city. As she happily walked up and down the platform, she heard the siren of a fire engine, and watched entranced as it flew past her and out toward the country.

SOUND:

FADE IN BEHIND NARRATOR TRAIN PULLING INTO STATION

NARRATOR:

Suddenly, she smiled, for she knew where the fire engine was going...and that it would be too late...A few moments later the train to New York arrived, and Jane boarded it quickly...As she walked to her seat, she felt the many admiring eyes that were watching her, and suddenly she was indescribably happy.

SOUND:

IN B. G. OF TRAIN GETTING UNDER WAY, THEN ROLLING AT A FAST CLIP

NARRATOR:

Mile after mile the train raced down the Valley, bringing her closer and closer to the city and a new life...As Jane handed the conductor her fare, she realized the contents of the bag she carried were unknown to her. One by one she began to draw objects from the bag. There was a compact, a comb, a handkerchief, a wallet with forty dollars...and a driver's license. Jane Arnold...445 West 106th Street.... So that was where Jane Arnold lived....and the keys...one of them must be the key to her apartment. She stared for a moment at the objects in her lap, then smiled. (TRAIN OUT) The contents of the bag were Jane Arnold's and she was now Jane Arnold. A few hours later she entered a small apartment house on West 106th Street and went to apartment 20.

(MUSIC OUT)

 

JANE:

(HUGGING MIKE) So this is it...This key looks fairly worn. Perhaps this is the door key.

SOUND:

OF KEY IN LOCK...DOOR UNLOCKED AND OPENED

JANE:

Now the light...the switch should be near the door...Yes, here it is.

SOUND:

OF LIGHT SWITCH ON, THEN DOOR CLOSED

JANE:

So this is where Jane Arnold lived...or rather...where I live. It's rather a dismal place, but the mirrors...at least I no longer need fear them. (ADMIRINGLY) Oh, I am beautiful. It's been worth everything I've been through. Even if I were to be young and beautiful for only six months instead of for years, it's worth it.

SOUND:

OF DOOR BUZZER

JANE:

(STARTLED) Who could that be? I must be careful. I know nothing at all about her.

SOUND:

OF DOOR OPENING.

DAN:

(INCREDULOUS) Oh, Janie, this is better than Christmas morning! I thought you were never coming back....Aren't you even going [to say you missed me?]

JANE:

Miss you?

DAN:

What're you staring at me for? You remember me, don't you? I'm Dan, the guy who lives across the street. The guy who's in love with you, wants to marry you.

JANE:

(LAUGHING) Of course, Dan...It was just.... well... I was surprised. We haven't seen each other since... how long is it now?

DAN:

Exactly a month. Every night I kept looking up at your window praying there'd be a light showing. When I saw it tonight I couldn't believe it.

JANE:

I arrived just a few minutes ago.

DAN:

Where were you, Janie? Why didn't you write? Just because I proposed...well, that wasn't any reason to disappear for a month. Why'd you do it?

JANE:

Please, Dan, let's not discuss it now.

DAN:

All right, dear. And I promise I won't propose again. I don't want you disappearing for another month.

JANE:

(LAUGHING HAPPILY) I won't.

DAN:

(LAUGHING) Why do you keep looking at me like that? As though you'd never seen me before?

JANE:

Do I? It's just....it's just that I'm so happy to see you.

DAN:

Oh, Janie... it's wonderful to have you back. What do you say we go out and celebrate?

JANE:

Oh, Dan, I'd love to!

MUSIC:

UP WITH A HAPPY THEME WITH DIRTY UNDERTONE...THEN DOWN AND OUT WITH SMALL STING

SOUND:

OF DOOR BUZZER....DOOR OPENED

DAN:

(SLIGHTLY OFF) Hello, darling.

JANE:

Hello, Dan. Come in.

SOUND:

OF DOOR CLOSING

JANE:

I had a wonderful time last night. I was never happier.

DAN:

Well, there's no reason we can't have a wonderful time tonight and every night.... You know, somehow that month's vacation you took made a change in you.

JANE:

Did it? For the better, I hope.

DAN:

Yes, it was for the better. Now I'm sort of glad you took that vacation.

JANE:

Why, Dan?

DAN:

Well, you know how moody and upset you were those few days before you went away.

JANE:

Was I?

DAN:

You certainly were. And when I proposed to you, you just burst into tears...What was wrong, Jane? Can't you tell me about it now?

JANE:

Wrong? I don't know, Dan. I mean.... I'd rather not talk about it. It's all in the past now.

DAN:

(EAGERLY) Is it, Janie?

JANE:

Yes.

DAN:

Then if I were to ask you to marry me again...you wouldn't run away, would you?

JANE:

The only way I'd run...would be towards you.

DAN:

Then, Janie, will you marry me?

JANE:

There's nothing in the world I'd rather do.

DAN:

Oh, Janie!

SOUND:

OF A KISS

DAN:

We're going to be very happy together.

JANE:

Yes, I know we are. Happier than I'd ever dreamed possible!

MUSIC:

UP WITH HAPPY THEME WITH OMINOUS UNDERCURRENT...THEN DOWN BEHIND

NARRATOR:

And Jane -- or Gloria - was happy ---- deliriously happy...for the next few days. Then Dan met me on the street and told me Jane was back in town again. So that evening I dropped in on her at her apartment.

MUSIC:

OUT WITH SMALL STING

SOUND:

OF DOOR BUZZER....THEN SOUND OF DOOR OPENING

DAN:

Hello, Doctor Smith - how are you? Come in.

M.T.:

(SLIGHT FADE IN) Hello, Dan.

SOUND:

OF DOOR CLOSED

DAN:

Look, Janie, it's Dr. Smith. I met him this morning, and told him you were back. He kept asking for you all the time you were away.

M.T.:

Hello, Janie, how are you?

JANE:

I'm fine, Dr. How are you?

M.T.:

Well, I was quite worried when you disappeared.

DAN:

You needn't worry anymore, Doc. She's back to stay.....and we're going to be married.

M.T.:

(STARTLED) What!....Is that true, Janie?

JANE:

Yes.

DAN:

What's the matter, Doc? You look awfully upset. Don't you approve?

M.T.:

Why....yes, of course. Congratulations.

DAN:

Thanks, Doc. And seeing you've been such a swell friend to Janie and me, we'd like you to be our best man.

M.T.:

(PERPLEXED) I should be very happy to....Dan, would you mind very much if I were to talk to Jane alone?

DAN:

Of course not, Doc. I've got to be running along anyway. I'll be back in an hour, darling, and we'll take in a movie together.

JANE:

All right, Dan.

SOUND:

OF A KISS

DAN:

(SLIGHT FADE) See you later, Doc.

M.T.:

Of course, Dan.

SOUND:

OF DOOR OPENING AND CLOSING

M.T.:

Jane, I was very much upset when I heard that you had disappeared.

JANE:

I was all right, Doctor. I just felt the need of a vacation.

M.T.:

Yes, of course. Things being the way they are, I can understand your desire to get away for a while. (VEXED) But what I can't understand is your agreeing to marry Dan.

JANE:

My agreeing to marry Dan?

M.T.:

Yes. Have you told him?

JANE:

Have I....told him?

M.T.:

From the tone of your voice, obviously you haven't. Jane, once you had the courage to face him and refuse to marry him. Why have you changed your mind?

JANE:

Well.....I love him.

M.T.:

Jane, I know you love him, that you always have. But you can't do this to him. You can't marry him, things being the way they are.

JANE:

Things being the way they are?

M.T.:

Of course. You know it wouldn't be fair to him.

JANE:

Why not?

M.T.:

(PUZZLED) Why not? But, Jane, we discussed this thoroughly two days before you went away. You can't be so unfair to him.

JANE:

What....did you say?

M.T.:

I said that you can't be so unfair to Dan.

JANE:

(SUDDENLY SCARED) What -- what do you mean, Dr.?

M.T.:

Jane, what's wrong with you? You know what the specialists said about your heart, what the X-rays showed.

JANE:

About.....about my heart?

M.T.:

Yes. Jane, you're so pale! What's wrong? You've known for over a month now that you only had six months to live. Why are you so shocked?

JANE:

(A WHISPER) Only six months to live.....so that's why she turned him down....tried to get a job away from the city.....she knew she only had six months more to live.

M.T.:

Jane, who are you talking about? I don't understand. Aren't you feeling well?

JANE:

(BEGINS TO LAUGH HYSTERICALLY) (BUILD) I'm perfectly well, doctor. Why shouldn't I be? When I was ugly and deformed I said I'd be satisfied if I could only be young and beautiful for six months. I'm getting the six months....What more could I ask for? Six months....six months!

MUSIC:

WASHING UP OVER HER HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER....HOLD....THEN DOWN INTO

SOUND:

OF INTERIOR OF TRAIN UP....THEN DOWN INTO B.G. WITH MUSIC

M.T.:

This is the Mysterious Traveler again. (WHISTLE OFF) Have you enjoyed our little trip?...You say it's impossible to transfer a brain from one body to another? That's what I thought when Jane Arnold....or should I say, Gloria King....told me her strange story. But when she died six months later....I performed an autopsy and I was pretty well convinced that.....well. You know, I've long had a secret desire to attempt Professor Hadley's experiment myself. Perhaps you're in the market for another body? Oh, you're getting off at the next stop? I'm sorry. Perhaps you'll join me again soon. I take this same train every week at the same time.

MUSIC:

SWEEPS UP TO PEAK AND OUT

ANNR:

(ON CUE) You have just heard Chapter twelve of the Mysterious Traveler....a series of dramas of the strange and unusual brought to you each week by Station WOR. In tonight's program, "THE UGLIEST WOMAN ALIVE"________________played Gloria, and ________________played Jane. The Mysterious Traveler, written by Robert Arthur and David Kogan, is directed by Jock MacGregor. Original music was played by Doc Whipple.

MUSIC:

UP FOR FILL....DOWN ON CUE AND OUT AS...

ANNR:

(ON CUE) Listen next week to a tale titled..

M.T.:

_______________________________ ["THE GOOD DIE YOUNG"]

ANNR:

Another tale of the Mysterious Traveler.

SOUND:

TRAIN WHISTLE IN DISTANCE....TRAIN (EXTERIOR) IN BEHIND WHISTLE....HOLD.

ANNR:

(ON CUE) The Mysterious Traveler is presented by WOR-Mutual every Sunday at seven over most of these stations. THIS IS MUTUAL.

MUSIC:

UP TO END